CAPE TOWN – There was great excitement in Western Province cricketing circles when Saarah Smith was included in the Proteas Women squad for the ICC World T20 later this month.
But now the teenager’s dream has ended. All-rounder Smith sustained a knock to her pinkie finger during a practice last Saturday, and has been diagnosed with a fracture.
Cricket South Africa announced on Thursday that Smith will be out of action for between four and six weeks, which means she will miss the World T20 in the West Indies from November 9-24.
Moseline Daniels has replaced Smith, while spinner Yolani Fourie is another new face in the squad in place of Raisibe Ntozakhe, who was withdrawn after being suspended by the ICC for an illegal bowling action.
“It’s very unfortunate. We feel her (Smith) pain as one of our squad members who worked extremely hard through the winter to find herself in her very first World Cup,” Proteas Women coach Hilton Moreeng said in a statement.
“To end it so prematurely for her it’s very disappointing, and we wish her a speedy recovery and we know that she will make a good come back. She’s got a strong head on her shoulders.
“Going forward now, after a discussion with the rest of the selectors, the players coming in for her and Raisibe (Ntozakhe) are Moseline Daniels and Yolani Fourie.
“They are both suitable replacements, players who have both been to World Cups before so we will have that experience to fall back on, and we know that they will be able to add value to the team from game one.”
The South African side will open their tournament against Sri Lanka on November 12, with further Group A games against the West Indies, England and Bangladesh.@ashfakmohamed