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Cricket | Women

Mignon du Preez © Gallo Images

Proteas Women's Du Preez ‘100 not out’

The South African women’s cricket team's three-wicket victory over Pakistan in the ICC Women’s World Cup was perhaps not their best, but it was a win.

The victory was certainly a little bit more special to Mignon du Preez. Ten years ago she made her international debut for South Africa against Pakistan, scoring an unbeaten 55 runs from 69 balls.

Yesterday she reached a unique milestone playing against the same team, scoring a gutsy 30 runs. It was the hundredth time she played a one-day game for South Africa. The Tuks-player is the first South African player to do so.

Du Preez is an optimist. For her, the glass will always be half-full rather than half empty. Therefore her confidence that South Africa’s women’s cricket team will be able to qualify for the semifinal is not a surprise.

“Women’s cricket in South Africa has improved by leaps and bounds over the last few years, especially since Cricket South Africa (CSA) had decided to become more actively involved. Momentum’s involvement as a sponsor also made a huge difference as we are now a fully contracted squad who can focus our energy on cricket without worrying about juggling another job to pay the bills.

“We get more opportunities to play nowadays. From last year August to now, I have played 29 one-day games which are more than I've played in the first four years of my international campaign. It led to our players beginning to feature in the top 10 of the ICC rankings.

“I believe that we currently have one of our strongest teams. If we can manage to adapt to the conditions quickly, execute our game plans and play to the best of our abilities, we’ll be unstoppable, and we can make it all the way to the top.

“I am truly passionate about cricket,” she reiterates. “It has changed my life for the better. It has enabled me to go to interesting places and meet extraordinary people. Through my travels, I have learned to appreciate what we have in South Africa. It is easy to complain all the time, but South Africa is certainly not the only country with problems.”

Du Preez had come a long way from the four-year-old who was asked by her dad to help out in a mini cricket game when one of the players did not arrive on time. She ended up being the best batsman on the day. Since then she has not stopped playing cricket.

Scoring a double-century in any game is impressive by anyone’s standards, but when a 12-year-old schoolgirl does it, people sit up and take notice. Du Preez scored 258 runs (16x6, 25x4) for North Gauteng’s under-13 team against Gauteng.

A further indication of her passion for cricket is the collect calls she made to her dad asking him to fetch her at school so that she could watch cricket at SuperSport Park.

In the 100 one-day games she played for South Africa she scored 2 568 runs at an average of 31.70, including two hundreds and 11 fifties.


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