Friday, June 14, 2024

CSA: De Klerk focused on being best version of herself after World Cup disappointment

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Photo Credit: Cricket South Africa

All-rounder, Nadine de Klerk has put the disappointment of missing out of the playing squad that represented the Momentum Proteas at this year’s ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup behind her and is focused on being on top of her game during the 2022 / 23 season.

The 22-year old was selected as part of the three traveling reserves, along with top-order batter, Andrie Steyn and spinner, Raisibe Ntozakhe, who accompanied the 15-player squad that achieved South Africa’s second consecutive semi-final finish at the 50-over global showpiece.

Despite being downbeat about not getting to play at the World Cup, de Klerk has turned her attention to how she can improve.

“It’s always hard facing those types of disappointments but at the end of the day, I have a massive passion for cricket, and I always want to work hard and become the best player I possibly can,” the Six Gun Grill Western Province cricketer said.

“It was a setback, but you always just want to get back up and work harder. I am on my journey towards that and just really want to become the best cricketer I possibly can and maneuver my way back into the playing 11 and in the squad,” she added.

De Klerk had a front row seat to the Proteas Women’s exhilarating campaign in New Zealand, where the team claimed five wins – the most in South Africa’s history in a single edition – out of eight matches, including edge-of-the-seat victories against England, New Zealand and most famously, India.

Although de Klerk participated in every training session and helped her teammates prepare for the World Cup encounters, the Brisbane Heat right-hander was deemed helpless on matchdays, something that tested her mental fortitude during the month-long tournament.

“It was a bit different,” she stated. “I have never experienced something like that before, but the girls played really great cricket and it was exciting just to be there as well, to watch them play was something really special; the way they took on some of the best in the world.

“You obviously have your mental challenges; I was just trying to tell myself to stay up and about and always bring energy to the team, and try and motivate and cheer them on wherever I can.

“It was lovely to be there and support the girls,” she continued.

Having made her Proteas debut in 2017 as a 17-year-old, de Klerk is entering her fifth season as an international cricketer and has her eyes set on securing a more permanent place in the team, particularly ahead of the hugely anticipated 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and the ICC Women’s T20 Cricket World Cup held in South Africa early next year.

“I just want to contribute to the team as much as possible,” she insisted. “I have been a traveling reserve in the previous few tours, so I just want to be a part of the squad and whenever I get the opportunity, to do the best I possibly can.

“I would love to score more runs, especially at the backend where someone is needed to maybe finish off games, I would love to be that player. I also want to try and bowl well and take a few wickets and bowl as economically as I can. We will have to see how well that works out,” she added.

The latest challenge facing de Klerk and the Proteas this year is the ongoing white ball tour to Ireland that includes three T20 Internationals (T20I) and three One-Day Internationals. Despite a slow start for the team, having gone down by 10 runs in the T20I opener, the former Hoërskool Waterkloof (Tshwane) pupil made a bright start to the series, taking figures of 1 / 17 to end as the team’s most inexpensive bowler.

“I am happy with my personal performance, but it doesn’t really help when you are on the losing side. I am just glad to be here and happy to be back in the T20I side. I haven’t played a T20 in quite a few months, so just to be back in the playing 11 and really contributing to the team (is great).

“Hopefully in the next couple of games, we can just turn the results around and end up on the winning side,” she concluded.

The Momentum Proteas are next in action on Monday, 06 June at 16h30 local time (17h30 SA time) in the second of three T20Is against Ireland at the Pembroke Cricket Club in Dublin. South African fans can catch the action on the DSTV Now App, Channel 247.

Momentum Proteas Squad for Ireland Tour:
Anneke Bosch (Senwes Dragons), Tazmin Brits (Senwes Dragons), Trisha Chetty (Hollywoodbets KZN Coastal), Nadine de Klerk (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Lara Goodall (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Shabnim Ismail (Hollywoodbets KZN Coastal), Ayabonga Khaka (Imperial Lions), Sune Luus (Titans Ladies), Nonkululeko Mlaba (Hollywoodbets KZN Coastal), Raisibe Ntozakhe (Imperial Lions), Tumi Sekhukhune (Imperial Lions), Andrie Steyn (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Chloe
Tryon (Hollywoodbets KZN Coastal), Delmi Tucker (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Laura Wolvaardt (Six Gun Grill Western Province)

Momentum Proteas Tour to Ireland Itinerary:
T20 International Series:
Monday, 06 June – 2 nd T20I – Ireland vs South Africa (Pembroke, Dublin)
Wednesday, 08 June – 3 rd T20I – Ireland vs South Africa (Pembroke, Dublin)
All T20I matches will start at 16h30 local time (17h30 SA time)

One-Day International Series:
Saturday, 11 June – Ireland vs South Africa (Clontarf, Dublin)
Tuesday, 14 June – Ireland vs South Africa (Clontarf, Dublin)
Friday, 17 June – Ireland vs South Africa (Clontarf¸ Dublin)
All ODI matches will start at 10h45 local time (11h45 SA Time)

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