Northern’s Nadine de Klerk is excited by the prospect of competing in her maiden ICC Women’s World Cup, when the Momentum Protea Women get their preparations underway with a warm-up match against Australia later today.
Aged just 17, de Klerk has enjoyed a whirlwind past few months. After starring with both bat and ball for Northerns across the 2016/17 summer, the all-rounder made her International debut last month against India, in the triangular series, which also featured Zimbabwe. Her inclusion in the 15-women World Cup squad soon followed.
With the depth of talent in the squad, including the experienced Northerns duo of Mignon du Preez and Suné Luus, the all-rounder is weary of securing a place in the starting 11.
“I didn’t expect it at all. It was a bit of a shock when I found out that I made the squad. But it is a huge honour to be able to play alongside some of the biggest names that have represented our country. I’m really looking forward to it,” said de Klerk.
“If I get a game, I just want to go out there and be myself and play my normal game. I want to do what I did for Northerns in the past few months. I don’t want to be trying to do something different, I just want to play my game and do the best I can and just bring something to the team.”
Another player heading into her first 50-over World Cup, having previously played in two T20 World Cups, is fellow all-rounder, Luus. Named in the ICC Women’s Team of the Year in 2016, and CSA’s Women’s Cricketer of the Year, the 21-year-old is relishing the chance to compete for the coveted title.
“I would love to get a few wickets up front and whenever I get the chance to bat, to score some runs and make the most of the opportunity when given the chance,” said Luus.
“From a team perspective, the target is to bring that tropy home.”
South Africa will complete their preparation against the West Indies on Thursday before opening their campaign against Pakistan on Sunday at the Fischer County Ground in Leicestershire.
“Going into a competition like this, on the day everyone is really challenging, with conditions likely to play a role,” added Luus.
“The conditions are a bit cold and hopefully we can get a few games under sunny skies. The warm-up matches will be important in adapting conditions.”
“We’re going to take each game as it comes and work hard and play hard.”