Dane van Niekerk says the Proteas Women owe Cricket South Africa more than the results have shown as they aim to win the Women’s World T20.
The Proteas Women captain spoke honestly in a column posted on icc-cricket.com about her team and women’s cricket in South Africa, ahead of the Women’s World T20 in November.
‘Considering the potential we have in this side, I think we owe CSA a lot more than the results we’ve shown,’ wrote Van Niekerk.
‘Sometimes I have to pinch myself. When I started playing amateur women’s cricket, I thought my life would look a certain way, and that image wasn’t great, to be honest. But now, with the life I’m living, there’s such a big difference from what I thought it would be – night and day.
‘When women’s cricket started in South Africa, it was very much amateur. Now the environment is a lot more professional. And not just in our country; in world cricket, the women’s game has really moved at a rapid pace.
‘Recently, leagues that popped up have changed the dynamics altogether, and it’s become a lot more competitive, a lot more exciting. There are bigger hits and quicker bowlers, certainly not something we saw as much when things started.’
Van Niekerk credited CSA CEO Thabang Moroe for his support of the women’s game.
‘Even at Cricket South Africa, since Thabang Moroe [CEO] has come on board, I see a massive difference in the way we’ve been treated. All we want is for one person to believe in us, and thank goodness that person is the CEO,’ she added.
‘I have to credit him; since my first meeting with him, he’s been pro women’s cricket. That’s what you need, you need a leader to back a team like ours.’
Talking about the tournament that takes place from 9 November until 24 November, Van Niekerk is confident in her side’s ability.
‘We definitely want to be the ICC Women’s World T20 winners. If that’s not what you strive for then I don’t know what you’re playing for!
‘But as captain, I want to see this group grow as a unit, like a family. With the young ones coming in, I want them to know that they are welcome within the side, it’s like a home and they are welcome within this home.’
Read full column courtesy of the ICC
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