JOHANNESBURG – The third round of the ICC Women’s Championship continues this week with South Africa among four teams looking to climb out of the bottom half of the points table and fine-tune their preparations for the ICC Women’s WT20 2018.
Sri Lanka host India, whilst 2018 hosts West Indies welcome South Africa with all four sides looking to make up ground on Australia, England, Pakistan and leaders New Zealand in the race to qualify for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2021.
SA captain Dane van Niekerk said her side will use the tournament as a learning experience.
“This ICC Women’s Championship series provides us with a great opportunity to prepare for the ICC Women’s WT20 later this year, also to be held in the West Indies,” said Van Niekerk.
“Getting to play the ICC Women’s World T20 champions should be a great learning even though this is a longer format. There are some important points up for grabs in this series and we are hoping to move up the ICC Women’s Championship points table. Stafanie Taylor and her team are a talented lot and we will be looking to be at our best.”
West Indies captain Stafanie Taylor said: “They (South Africa) have improved steadily and we have had some tough matches against them over the last few years. We had two unflattering performances against them in a warm-up game and then in the group stage at the ICC Women’s World Cup last year in England, so this should motivate us to perform at our utmost best and defend our home turf.”
The ICC Women’s Championship sees all eight sides taking on each other in a series of three ODIs home and away. Following the ODI games, there will be crucial preparation for this winter’s Women’s World T20 event with a number of T20Is scheduled.
Sri Lanka host India from Tuesday to Sunday in a series that is important for both teams. For Sri Lanka, the series starting in Galle is an opportunity to open their account in home conditions while trying to forget their 3-0 series loss to India in the last edition of the tournament. For India, it is a chance to bounce back after their recent defeat at the hands of defending champions Australia at home.
ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 finalists India are placed sixth with a tally of four points after six matches, both wins coming in a 2-1 series win over South Africa, while Sri Lanka are yet to earn a point after completing their engagements against Pakistan and the West Indies.
Africa News Agency (ANA)