Laura Wolvaardt ready to lead Proteas to history against Australia

Laura Wolvaardt of South Africa during the 2023 One-Day International Series match between South Africa and Bangladesh at the JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom

Laura Wolvaardt provided insight into the conditions at the Manuka Oval and how her experience Down Under will benefit South Africa on this tour. Picture: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Published Jan 26, 2024


Captain Laura Wolvaardt and the Proteas Women have completed their preparations and are eager to kick off their tour with the first T20 International (T20I) against Australia at the Manuka Oval in Canberra on Saturday.

The first of the three T20I contests will start at 10.45am local time (1.45am SA time) and will be broadcast live on SuperSport Cricket (Channel 212).

Wolvaardt discussed her team’s readiness for the upcoming battle, discussing the side’s preparation in Australia since arriving a week ago.

“Preparation has been really good so far. We spent some time in Sydney, engaging in practice sessions and playing against the Governor-General XI. It's been a really good week in Australia, and we are ready to go tomorrow,” the skipper said.

Special insight

As a regular participant in Australia’s Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) and a reigning champion with the Adelaide Strikers, Wolvaardt provided insight into the conditions at the Manuka Oval and how her experience Down Under will benefit South Africa on this tour.

“It's a beautiful ground. I think it's been quite high-scoring in the past, so I'm very excited to get out there and have a hit.

“It's been great playing in the WBBL. Hopefully, it bodes well. Being able to play at many of the grounds we'll be playing at is great, and facing the bowlers that I'll be facing for a few months at a time, hopefully, I'll be able to use it to my advantage.”

History beckons for the South African team as they seek their maiden victory over Australia across all formats. The Proteas enter the T20I series with a record of seven defeats in their previous seven encounters in the shortest format, including the historic ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 final in Cape Town last year.

The last time these two nations faced off in T20I cricket on Australian soil, South Africa suffered a heartbreaking five-run loss via the Duckworth Lewis Stern method in the semi-final of the 2020 World Cup.

Speaking on the difficult task of facing the current double-world champions in their favoured conditions away from home, the 23-year-old batter highlighted the opposition's ability and outlined what the Proteas team will have to do to secure their long-awaited first win over Australia in the upcoming series.

“It will be a big challenge. They are the world champions, and it's their own backyard, but I think we've prepared well, and hopefully, it goes alright.

‘They've just been very consistent for a long period of time. Playing in the Big Bash, I see how they work, and they work very hard at their skills, so it's well deserved.

“They do work very hard, and they are very good cricketers, but it'll just be about us playing our best cricket on the day. I think we're a very talented group as well, so if we play our best cricket, it should all come together.”