JOHANNESBURG – The South African Women’s team will name a replacement for off-spinner Raisibe Ntozakhe after she was withdrawn from the Proteas squad for the World T20 on Tuesday morning.
The International Cricket Council suspended Ntozakhe following South Africa’s tour to the West Indies last month after tests found her action exceeded the 15 degrees level of tolerance permitted under the regulations.
The South African womens team’s confirmed the withdrawal shortly before the team’s departure. “She’s done a lot remedial work with the High Performance team, but we’ve now withdrawn her,” said Moreeng. “She will continue to do her remedial work and there’ll be another test, although we are not sure when.”
Ntozakhe will have an eye on returning to the national side when they face Sri Lanka early in the new year. The South African selectors will be meeting later this week to discuss options to replace Ntozakhe, with Moreeng hoping to have that player available early next week.
There are just over two weeks left before South Africa open their campaign in the tournament against Sri Lanka, but Moreeng is keen to have his whole squad in the Caribbean for the four warm-up matches they will play ahead of the tournament.
South Africa got some valuable insight into conditions during the recent tour to the West Indies where they tied a five-match T20 series - that was severely impacted by rain - 2-2.
“We spent a month in the Caribbean and if we didn’t learn anything I’d be worried,” said the Proteas skipper Dane van Niekerk.
South Africa is in the same group as the host nation, who are also the defending champions, and the powerhouse England team. However Van Niekerk dismissed any thought that the group would come down to a shoot-out between the three teams.
“It being T20 cricket, it brings the teams closer together and then you look at the fact that the other two sides are from the sub-continent (Sri Lanka and Bangladesh) in conditions which will suit them….we can’t and won’t take any team for granted.”
As has become the norm for Van Niekerk she stressed the importance of consistency if her team are to win the ultimate prize. South Africa has for years been a team capable of winning against any side but they far too often fail to back up one good performance with another.
“Our top order needs to fire, on the last three tours, only two batters per tour rocked up, we need four or five batters to rock up and hopefully in the last two weeks a lot of batters did introspection and hopefully they are ready to go for the World Cup,” Van Niekerk explained.
The SA Squad for the World T20 is:
Dané van Niekerk (capt), Chloe Tryon, Lizelle Lee, Suné Luus, Shabnim Ismail, Masabata Klaas, Mignon du Preez, Marizanne Kapp, Laura Wolvaardt, Zintle Mali, Robyn Searle, Tumi Sekhukhune, Saarah Smith, Trisha Chetty.