Promising youngster and SA U19 Women batter, Elandri Janse van Rensburg is enjoying the privilege of being a part of her first national training camp in the Momentum Proteas set up as the country’s top cricketers are put through their paces in Gqeberha.
Nationally contracted players as well as high-performance and U19 aspirants have gathered in the windy city for a week-long, skills-based camp as part of the preparation towards the hosting of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup and the inaugural ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup early next year.
Janse van Rensburg, who represents the North West Dragons domestically, shared her excitement of being involved at the highest level in South African women’s cricket, highlighting the difference in step up between youth and senior national cricket.
“It’s an honour to be here,” the 17-year-old began. “I am just here for the experience and to see what is happening here because I know Proteas players such as Suné (Luus) and Nadine (de Klerk) and everyone here, so all I want to do is to enjoy it and have the experience here to take back to the SA U19s and my province.
“It is a different level; I am going to be honest. There at the U19s, you are still small, and they treat you nicely still. When you come up here, it’s a bit more stressful, they put a bit more pressure on you, like the warm-ups and stuff and you have to be on time and everything like that.
“It’s more professional up here than down there, so that is the biggest difference,” she added.
Janse van Rensburg began her journey within the game at the tender age of five when she was introduced to the sport by her older brother Kobus in their hometown of Upington in the Northern Cape. She has since experienced a gripping rise through the Cricket South Africa (CSA) development pipeline, including highlights such as scoring a leading 326 runs during an U16 National Girls Week at an average of 108 while just 13 years old.
The talented batter can also add a maiden half-century in her first ever senior women’s provincial match for the Dragons, as well as caps for the SA U19s in bilateral tours against Namibia and Zimbabwe earlier this year.
Although she looks up to the likes of Mignon du Preez and Laura Wolvaardt as inspirations on the field, Janse van Rensburg credits her brother and father for unwavering support in her young career.
“How I started cricket is actually my brother,” the youngster noted. “I have an older brother; he is six years older than me. When I was little, I started playing garden cricket like everyone who started playing cricket. At the age of five, he just put a bat and ball in my hand, and I started playing cricket.
“From there on, I went to his high school and the coaches said I must start practicing there and start playing my cricket and from there, I got the love for cricket at that young age.
“It is my brother and my dad. I have big support from them. They support me all the way, no negative comments or anything,” she continued.
When asked to describe herself as a player, Janse van Rensburg immediately noted her determined nature when it comes to her work on the field, while she also pointed out her aggressive playing style as a batter.
“As a player, I would say I am hardworking. I am actually really tough on myself,” she said. “I will go out there and give my best for my team, give my all in everything I do in my performance. I know if they ask me to go out there to put up my hand to play a game, I would do that because I am hardworking and I would do anything for my team.
“I am more of an attacking batter. I would go out there, if the ball is in my slot, I would go for it. I also respect the good ball but if it’s in my slot, I am really an attacking player so I would go for it,” the rising star added.
Ahead of what is going to be a momentous 2022 / 23 season, with the two World Cups on home soil, and with a long and exciting career ahead of her, Janse van Rensburg has lofty ambitions for the future, beginning with the first ever junior women’s World Cup taking place from 14 – 29 January next year.
“I want to be a Protea one day. I want to play for the Proteas, that’s one of the biggest things I want to achieve but obviously now I am just looking to get into the SA U19s to go play the World Cup because I know there is a lot of pressure when it comes to that.
“So first I want to do the SA U19s and from there on, I want to play for the Proteas.
“It would mean a lot to me because I know it is the first U19 World Cup, so to be there and represent my country in the first U19 World Cup, I would be so honoured to be there, to play my game and do what I love,” Janse van Rensburg concluded.
Momentum Proteas National Training Camp Squad (21-player squad):
Micaéla Andrews (Six Gun Grill Garden Route Badgers), Nobulumko Baneti (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Tazmin Brits (Six Gun Grill Garden Route Badgers), Nadine de Klerk (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Annerie Dercksen (Six Gun Grill Garden Route Badgers), Lara Goodall (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Anri Grobbelaar (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Elandri Janse van Rensburg** (North West Dragons), Suné Luus (Fidelity Titans), Masabata Klaas (North West Dragons), Tebogo Macheke (Fidelity Titans), Eliz-Mari Marx (Fidelity Titans), Karabo Meso** (DP World Lions), Nonkululeko Mlaba (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Raisibe Ntozakhe (DP World Lions), Kayla Reyneke** (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Nondumiso Shangase (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Andrie Steyn (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Delmi Tucker (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Faye Tunnicliffe (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Jané Winster (Six Gun Grill Garden Route Badgers)
SA U19 Women players**