Cricket SA name Proteas womens ODI squad to face Australia
Dane van Niekerk’s Proteas, will start to turn their focus away from the 20-over format to the 50-over version as the team begins its build-up to next year’s World Cup with a three game series against Australia.
The national side’s selectors have stuck by the same group of players that crucially won a series in New Zealand in February and then went to the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup where they were narrowly defeated by the Australians in a rain-reduced game.
That 3-0 series win in New Zealand was critical in that it ensured South Africa secured an automatic qualification spot in the World Cup and relieved all of the stress of facing Australia, a team they’ve never beaten. In 14 ODIs, dating back to 1997, the closest the Proteas have come to beating Australia was in the fourth ODI of a five game series in Australia in 2016, when the teams played to a tie in Coffs Harbour with Van Niekerk picking up three wickets and top scoring with 81 in the chase.
“This squad was selected with an eye on the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2021 in New Zealand,” said convenor of selectors Clinton du Preez. “As much as we want to expand the pool of players who can perform successfully for South Africa, it is important that we keep the momentum and continue performing well against the very best in world cricket while also helping the team to peak for major tournaments.”
The three match series, against the recently crowned T20 World champions, starts at Kingsmead on March 22 with Proteas going to be waring a changed black strip as part of initiatives to highlight the prevalence of gender-based violence in South Africa.
The two sides will then move to Pietermaritzburg for the second ODI on March, with third taking place in East London on March 28.
Proteas ODI squad: Dané van Niekerk (capt), Laura Wolvaardt, Lizelle Lee, Mignon du Preez, Marizanne Kapp, Suné Luus, Chloe Tryon, Shabnim Ismail, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Tumi Sekhukhune, Trisha Chetty, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Nadine de Klerk