Photo Credit: Cricket Ireland / Keniry Photography
With the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 hosted in South Africa just over three months away, the Momentum Proteas and an extended group of SA Emerging and domestic players have gathered in East London for a crucial training camp between 01 – 10 November.
The 25-player squad will take part in arduous skills-based training sessions; working on their batting, bowling, and fielding technicalities before putting those into practice during a total of eight T20 intra-squad matches held at Buffalo Park Stadium, the home of Eastern Cape Iinyathi and Border Cricket.
Momentum Proteas National Training Camp Squad (25-player squad) –
Anneke Bosch (North West Dragons), Micaéla Andrews (Six Gun Grill Garden Route Badgers), Nobulumko Baneti (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Tazmin Brits (Six Gun Grill Garden Route Badgers), Trisha Chetty (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), 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), Ayabonga Khaka (DP World Lions), Lerato Langa (Easterns), Suné Luus (Fidelity Titans), Masabata Klaas (North West Dragons), Tebogo Macheke (Fidelity Titans), Palesa Mapoo (DP World Lions), Eliz-Mari Marx (Fidelity Titans), Nonkululeko Mlaba (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Raisibe Ntozakhe (DP World Lions), Tumi Sekhukhune (DP World Lions), 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), Dané van Niekerk (Eastern Province), Jané Winster (Six Gun Grill Garden Route Badgers)
In welcomed news, the East London camp sees the return of Momentum Proteas captain Dané van Niekerk, while Ayabonga Khaka, Trisha Chetty and Tumi Sekhukhune along with Anneke Bosch continue making their way back from respective individual training and injury rehabilitation with the rest of the squad.
The expanded group also includes a cluster of uncapped high-performance and domestic players such as Nobulumko Baneti, Micaéla Andrews and Eliz-Mari Marx, with fresher faces in Palesa Mapoo and Lerato Langa, all hoping to make a run for selection ahead of the global showpiece on home soil.
Speaking ahead of the camp, Proteas Women head coach Hilton Moreeng shared his plans for the upcoming camp following the successful assembly in Gqeberha last month.
“The major difference for us is that now we are focusing more on game time so we can address a few of the tactics we want to work on regarding playing on the coast,” Moreeng noted.
“It’s a continuation from the last camp that we had in Gqeberha and now we going into different conditions. Also, in the sense that we make sure that we as players and as a team can continue to improve and challenge each other on different surfaces and conditions.
“Overall, it is more or less the same squad, we wanted to look at a couple of the U19s, but they couldn’t because of the exams starting now but we are continuing with the rest of the squad, and we are looking forward to working with everyone again,” the coach said.
Although the hyper energy exuded by youth will be missing, along with the players at the Women’s Big Bash in Australia, the camp will feature plenty of experienced cricketers together with the aspirant local talent. This will ensure a competitive environment with the sole goal of earning a spot in the team that will take on the world in February next year.
Moreeng explains the thinking behind the squad selected, saying: “There’s been a lot of domestic games that have been played currently so from that, we look at some of these players that have been performing and we are looking at how they have been going in the last couple of years,”
“We also look at the succession plan of the players that we had and those that have been identified, to touch base and just see where they are because it is not as yet closed for anyone that wants to make the World Cup squad,” he continued.
“Players have an opportunity when in the camp, to showcase their talent again, especially with players that haven’t been a part of these camps in the past and now getting another opportunity and you never know with the current squad that we have.
“There is always a chance, and the players know that. They are one performance away from being included in a potential World Cup squad,” the coach added.
With the eighth T20 World Cup set to be held in Cape Town, Paarl and Gqeberha, the Momentum Proteas will be using the working trip to East London as key preparation to acclimatize to prevailing coastal conditions that they will likely face during the international competition.
“Our camps have mostly been in Pretoria, that’s where we are based, and we don’t have these kinds of challenges where you have slow and low wickets and the weather changes during the course of the day. Even the wind in PE that we had to deal with,” Moreeng commented.
“Most players in the camp haven’t been exposed to that so they need to be exposed as quickly as they can because when the opportunity comes to represent your country, it’s not something new.
“We even know now in East London; it possesses different challenges, and it is going to ask different questions from our players especially from the surface.
“There is always a bit of a wind factor depending on how things go on the day, and also needing to understand that on days you could have to play shortened games, so those kinds of things you need to make sure you prepare for those because it can happen,” the coach concluded.