Proteas Women’s spinner, Raisibe Ntozakhe, admits that she didn’t think World Cup selection would come so soon after debuting for her country.
It has been a whirlwind past six months for the 20-year-old from Alexandra township. She turned the heads of national selectors with her showing at the CSA Women’s week in 2016-17 where she finished with 15 wickets in ten matches and had a best return of 6-16.
This performance earned the off-break bowler a call-up to the Proteas’ squad for their quadrangular series in Potchefstroom. Even after her sensational debut against Zimbabwe, where she captured 3-8 in five overs, a World Cup place seemed far off in her opinion.
‘Getting that call to say that I was going to play in the Quadrangular series in Potch [Potchefstroom] felt like a dream,’ she said.
‘I was so ecstatic and thankful that all my hard work was finally paying off.
‘While I was hoping that the tour would open other doors for me in future, I never imagined that a call-up for the World Cup was in the cards,’ she recalls.
Ntozakhe also admits that cricket was not always part of her plans. She grew up playing soccer at school and felt her future lay as a professional soccer player.
‘It’s truly amazing how life works out sometimes. There was a time when I was so sure that I was going to play soccer and that’s it, but after I was introduced to mini-cricket by one of the teachers at my school, I knew that this was something that I wanted to pursue, and I’m so glad I did because it has brought me where I am right now,’ she says.
Together she and the rest of the Proteas Women’s squad will now prepare to take on the world at the global showpiece in England, beginning on 24 June.