Cape Town - The Proteas women will go up against Pakistan in their first
appearance of the 2017 ICC Women's World Cup in Leicester on June 25.
tournament, which will be held in the United Kingdom will start with home side,
England, going up against India on June 24.
It will be a round-robin contest
between the top eight teams in the world culminating with the semi-finals at
Bristol and Derby before the final at Lord's on July 23.
Captain, Dané van Niekerk is excited to get the World Cup
Van Niekerk believes that the team's pre-tournament preparation will
serve them in good stead and by the time they reach England, her team will be a
"We've been building up to this tournament for the last 18
months at least and now that it’s around the corner, the excitement is building
among the team," she commented.
"We love playing against Pakistan, we have a
healthy rivalry with them and we know that if we start well against them, the
confidence boost going into the rest of the tournament will be key."
"We have a good track record against them and I'm confident
that by the time we reach the tournament proper, we'll be more than ready," she
With a little over three months to the World Cup, South
Africa will be hosting a quadrangular series that will include India, Zimbabwe and Ireland in the hopes of bolstering their preparation.
Van Niekerk believes that the series will play a key role in
the team's journey to England.
"The quadrangular series is definitely going to play a big
part in our preparation for the World Cup. We have some unfinished business
with India and will want to get one up over them before we get to the World
Cup, you know, a little pay back for the World Cup Qualifier finals.
really excited to host Ireland who were really good to us last year when we
were there and of course, it's always great to have Zimbabwe over, the match
exposure for them will be priceless."
Looking ahead to the World Cup, Van Niekerk believes that
the team will be ready to put their best feet forward.
have a settled group of about 15 to 18 players and I'm glad I won't have the
headache of selecting the final team. We have a good balance of youth and
experience and a lot of really hungry players who are looking forward to
getting to the World Cup and proving themselves worthy.
"At the end of the day,
this is what we have all been dreaming about since the day we decided to make
cricket a career choice; representing our country at the highest level on the
biggest stage in the world and we’re keen to get to England and give women's
cricket a good advertisement."
Proteas women 2017 ICC World Cup fixtures:
June 25 - Pakistan v South Africa
June 28 - South Africa v New Zealand
July 2 - South Africa v West Indies
July 5 - South Africa v England
July 8 - South Africa v India
July 12 - Sri Lanka v South Africa
July 15 - Australia v South Africa
July 18 - First semi-final
July 20 - Second semi-final
July 23 - Final