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New era … Laura Wolvaardt set to be named Proteas skipper for tour to Pakistan

Laura Wolvaardt of South Africa during the 2023 ICC Women's T20 World Cup match between South Africa and Australia held at St Georges Park in Gqeberha

Cricket SA are set to name Laura Wolvaardt as the new Proteas women’s skipper on Thursday. Picture: Deryck Foster/BackpagePix

Published Aug 24, 2023


Laura Wolvaardt is set to be named the new Proteas Women’s captain for the upcoming tour to Pakistan on Thursday.

Independent Media understands Cricket SA have been involved in heavy debate behind closed doors for the past week after the squad to tour Pakistan was named last week without a captain.

Former skipper Sune Luus had stepped down ahead of the Pakistan tour to officially “focus on her cricket”, although she has been at the forefront of pushing for a change of head coach. The all-rounder is the only Proteas captain - male or female - to lead a senior South African team to an ICC final last February.

Cricket SA has, however, extended long-serving head coach Hilton Moreeng’s contract until December 31, which is believed to have caused major division within the Proteas’ women’s team.

Wolvaardt, 24, has led the Proteas in two One-Day Internationals previously after Luus suffered an injury on the 2021 tour of India. Those matches were significant, with Wolvaardt leading the Proteas to victory in both the third and fourth ODI’s, to seal South Africa’s first-ever series win on Indian soil.

After a string of high-profile retirements over the past two years, including former captains Dane van Niekerk and Mignon du Preez, Wolvaardt is the Proteas’ most accomplished batter.

Since her international debut back in 2016, Wolvaardt has gained the experience of one Test match, 80 ODI’s and 53 T20I’s. The classy right-hander, who possesses an exquisite cover drive, has amassed 3193 ODI runs at an average of 45.6 and 1079 T20I runs at 30.82. She is ranked No 4 on the ICC ODI rankings and No 7 on the T20I list.

Wolvaardt has previously been ambiguous about her leadership ambitions, having told Independent Media just two months ago that she was not ready for the job just yet.

“(Leadership) That’s not something I really thought about too much about growing up. I didn’t really feel like I knew enough about the game to be telling people what they should or should not be doing with theirs,” Wolvaardt said at the time.

“Maybe it is something I will start looking at though as I become more a senior player within the team.

“I don’t think it is something I will do in the next couple of years, because we have plenty of senior players in our squad at the moment.

“But it is something I would enjoy later on in my career.”

Cricket SA were certainly left in a tight squeeze after experienced all-rounder Chloe Tryon requested a leave of absence from the Pakistan tour.

Tryon has previously been the Proteas’ official vice-captain during Van Niekerk’s reign and had led the team in 10 (six ODI’s and four T20I’s) previously.

Wolvaardt and Tryon are both currently competing in The Hundred in England where they went head-to-head on Wednesday for the Manchester Originals and Southern Brave respectively.

Fixtures - South Africa Tour to Pakistan 2023/24

T20I Series:

Friday, September 1, 4:30pm

1st T20I - Pakistan vs South Africa (National Stadium, Karachi)

Sunday, September 3, 4:30pm

2nd T20I - Pakistan vs South Africa (National Stadium, Karachi)

Tuesday, September 5, 4:30pm

3rd T20I - Pakistan vs South Africa (National Stadium, Karachi)

ODI Series:

Friday, September 8, 12:30pm

1st ODI - Pakistan vs South Africa (National Stadium, Karachi)

Monday, September 11

2nd ODI - Pakistan vs South Africa (National Stadium, Karachi)

Thursday, September 14

3rd ODI - Pakistan vs South Africa (National Stadium, Karachi)