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Cricket | Women

Shabnim Ismail © Gallo Images

SA women plan the way forward

The South Africa women’s team met for the first time this year when they travelled to the High Performance Centre in Pretoria for a fitness, strength and conditioning camp on the weekend.

The aim of the camp was to catch up with the team, whose players are currently competing in the business end of the Cricket South Africa (CSA) Women’s Provincial League. Another function of the camp was to re-introduce the aims that were established last year by both team management and the team.

“This is a big year for us,” Coach Yashin Ebrahim-Hassen said. “This is a World Cup year, we will be travelling to Sri Lanka for the ICC Women’s World T20 in September and I expect nothing but 100% commitment from the team that will be competing.

Because of the World T20, a greater emphasis was put on T20 cricket and the team were taken through what is expected of them in this still relatively new format.

There is a lot to prepare for this year, not least being the England women’s Academy who will be touring South Africa in April for a three-match ODI and T20 series.

“We all agreed last year that a lot of sacrifice is to be expected in the next season leading up to the arrival of England’s Academy, the World T20 and the ICC Women’s World Cup in 2013. The girls all know what is expected of them and that there will be times when family time and social lives will have to take a back seat to the objectives we are setting,” Ebrahim-Hassen continued.

The team was also introduced to new players who joined the High Performance team for the first time and the return of batting super star Susan Benade was also announced.

“It is good to see the return of Susan, the experience that she will bring to the team will be invaluable and she is committed to doing whatever it takes to make a full come back to the team.”

Suné Luus and Savannah Cordes are the two new additions to the High Performance team. Both had successful campaigns during the CSA Girls U19 Week in December and are being given a chance to prove their worth in women’s cricket’s biggest platform.

“These two youngsters (Luus and Cordes) are really good prospects for the future and depending on their continued form, who knows, they could see themselves getting game time sooner than expected. There is a lot of competition in women’s cricket and I want to stress how damaging a complacent attitude will be for anyone with designs of representing South Africa in the near future,” Ebrahim-Hassen stressed.

The team management are concentrating not only on the physical aspects, but the mental attitude of the players as well. The team dropped from fifth position in the Reliance Mobile ICC Women’s ODI Rankings to eighth after the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier in Bangladesh last year.

“I want to see a system of depth enter the team and see the mind-set of players to shift to a positive approach to everything we do. We have a squad of very special players and I want the country and the world to see what we (team management) see. It is going to be a difficult year, but I am looking forward to the challenge and I am confident that each and every player will rise to it and show their hunger to be the very best in the world.


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