Proteas women relish underdog tag ahead of T20 World Cup

2020-02-19 13:21
Dane van Niekerk
Dane van Niekerk (AFP)

Cape Town - Fresh off the back of two warm-up games in Adelaide, the Proteas women have arrived in Perth as they finalise their preparation ahead of the opening weekend of the ICC Women's T20 Cricket World Cup.

With two practice sessions remaining in the build-up to their first group match against one-time champions England on Sunday, the Proteas plan to hit the ground running at their new base, the WACA.

Speaking during a media opportunity at Perth Airport, captain Dané van Niekerk emphasised the importance of adapting to conditions as quickly as possible as the Proteas seek to make their mark on the global showpiece event.

"We love playing at the WACA," expressed the all-rounder. "It's a great ground for women's cricket, especially with the pace and the bounce."

"Everyone needs to get used to conditions. You can get carried away at the WACA with the pace and the bounce, especially with our bowling line-up. They're going to get excited when they see what the wicket does.

"It's just about finding our lines and lengths and as batters as well, finding the pace of the wicket, does it move doesn't it. You never know what wicket you're going to get, the lively one or the flatter one."

Having beaten Sri Lanka in their first warm-up match and narrowly missing out on a win against hosts Australia, Van Niekerk says her side are full of confidence as they look to shake off the underdog tag.

"Coming up against the number one (T20) team in the world and getting so close, shows that we're moving in the right direction," expressed the 26-year-old.

"We've got world-class players in our side, we've got match-winners and world-beaters in their own right and it's time that we just step-up.

"We'll take the tag but it's time we start making our mark when it comes to ICC tournaments."

Proteas women group schedule:

Sunday, February 23 

Group Match 1, Proteas vs England at the WACA - 13:00 SA time

Friday, February 28

Group Match 2, Proteas vs Thailand at Manuka Oval - 06:00 SA time

Sunday, March 1

Group Match 3, Proteas vs Pakistan at the Sydney Showgrounds Stadium - 06:00 SA time

Tuesday, March 3 

Final Group Match, Proteas vs West Indies at the Sydney Showgrounds Stadium - 13:00 SA time

Proteas ICC Women's T20 squad:

Dané van Niekerk (captain, Eastern Province), LauraWolvaardt (Western Province), Lizelle Lee (North West), Mignon du Preez (Northerns), Marizanne Kapp (Eastern Province), Suné Luus (Northerns), Chloe Tryon (KwaZulu-Natal Coastal), Shabnim Ismail (KZN Coastal), AyabongaKhaka (Gauteng), Masabata Klaas (North West), Tumi Sekhukhune (North West), Trisha Chetty (KZN Coastal), Nonkululeko Mlaba (KZN Coastal), Nadine de Klerk (Western Province) and Nondumiso Shangase (KZN Coastal)

- Cricket South Africa

Read more on:    proteas women  |  dane van niekerk  |  cricket


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