Women’s National Academy coach Dinesha Devnarain is pleased with the work put in by the Proteas Women at training camps ahead of the visit of Pakistan.
The women’s national team have not been in action since the end of the T20 World Cup at the beginning of 2020 as the pandemic devastated the game.
Coaches pleased with Proteas work
Devnarain is happy with the work that has been done in less than ideal circumstances and is confident of a good showing against Pakistan.
The Proteas women side have been in camp for the past five days as they prepare for their first action since the domestic T20 Women’s Super League.
Some of the national squad were in action during the Women’s Big Bash League in Australia last year, showing few effects of being stuck in an extended lockdown.
Devnarain hopes that the national team camps will offset the challenges posed by the lockdown.
“We were blessed enough to host a lot of camps leading up to this series that has helped our preparations to go well now and hopefully we can have a good showcase of cricket,” said Devnarain from Kingsmead which will host all of the internationals against Pakistan.
“We have quite a few of the young academy players here and now It is a great opportunity for them and the players who have done well in the WSL (Women Super League) to take that performance to international cricket. I just hope they go out there with a fearless brand of cricket and hopefully can be match-winners for their country, especially with a few of our senior players missing out due to injury.”
Devnarain, who serves in a dual role as Under-19 coach and head of the academy, wants to impart as much of her knowledge of conditions in Durban as possible ahead of the series.
“Luckily, I am from Durban and in terms of acclimatizing I can give the girls few tips here and there. However, that alone will not give us the edge, at the end of the day we have to play a good brand of cricket that will show how far we have come as a team and be cognizant that Pakistan are a very good side that will give us a good run for our money.” said Devnarain.
The first ODI between the Proteas and will be played at Kingsmead on 20 January with the match going out live on SuperSport from 10:00.
One-Day Cup: Washout guarantees Dolphins a semi-final spot
The Dolphins remain top of Pool A of the One-Day Cup tournament being played in a bio-bubble in Potchefstroom.
The KwaZulu-Natal team moved to 11 points after their second match against the Titans was washed out.
Dolphins secure a semi-final berth
The Dolphins started their campaign with back-to-back victories over the Titans and the Knights.
The Titans and Knights also had their match washed out earlier this week, and as a result, the Dolphins have just about sealed top spot in their section.
The North West town, which is hosting the competition in a bio-secure environment (BSE), has been drenched by rain all week as summer rains have engulfed the region. The wet weather has left the outfield under heavy pressure and forced the ground staff to work overtime in a bid to ready the venue for each of the games since.
Although the Titans now moved above the Knights on the Group A table with three points, they face a crucial match-up against the Central Franchise (two points) at the same venue on Friday. The weather forecast is not terribly positive with rain expected during the playing hours set for the One-Day Cup contest.
The pool will conclude on Saturday when the runaway leaders Dolphins (11 points) play the Knights. Pool B of the One-Day Cup will then commence at the same venue.
Domestic cricket has been decimated by the pandemic with the flagship T20 competition, the Mzansi Super League cancelled, and the schedules of the four-day and One-Day competitions disrupted.
The Dolphins are the defending One-Day Cup champions having won the title when the tournament was called off with them at the summit of the log. That triumph gave coach Imran Khan something to celebrate in his maiden season in charge of the Dolphins.
Khan has enjoyed a good start to his second season as coach of the Dolphins seeing his side top Group B of the CSA 4-Day Franchise Series after five matches.
The coach said ahead of the match that the Dolphins are focused on securing that top spot, they are now just one game away from achieving that goal.
“If we look towards the semi-finals there’s no reserve day, so if the games do rain out then the team that’s on top of the pool goes straight to the final. That is our vision for now, ensuring we can secure top spot and continue to play good cricket,” Khan said.
CSA postpone the start of the amateur cricket season until February
Cricket South Africa (CSA) has confirmed the return of all forms of amateur cricket has been delayed until 1 February 2021.
COVID-19 surge blocks the resumption of amateur cricket
CSA had originally plotted a return to play roadmap for provincial cricket, clubs, schools and KFC Mini-Cricket commencing in the first week of January but due to the current national level 3 lockdown amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, no amateur cricket will be possible during the month of January according to a statement issued by the governing body.
The postponement effects elite amateur cricket as well as school and club matches.
The Senior Provincial Men’s season had been due to get underway tomorrow with the start of the 3-Day Provincial Cup with five matches scheduled across the country. The teams would have then gone on to compete in the opening round of the CSA Provincial One-Day Cup on Sunday, 10 January.
The decision deals a big blow to the women’s game which is dependant upon the amateur structures to sustain the Proteas, with elite provincial competitions still being conducted as amateur events.
A blow to the women’s game
A bumper weekend of cricket was in store for the Provincial Women’s teams, with both the 50-over and T20 competitions earmarked for Saturday, 09 January and Sunday, 10 January respectively, but that is now on ice.
Following the success of the recent Women’s T20 Super League, which was held in December in Cape Town, provincial teams had their sights set on building on that momentum in the CSA Women’s Provincial T20 tournament. Instead, they will continue to practice at their training grounds.
“Cricket South Africa and its Members are exercising their duty of care by adjusting the initial timeframe for the resumption of the game at this level,” Acting Head of Cricket Pathways Edward Khoza said.
“While we appreciate the eagerness of our buddying cricketers to play, we are unfortunately constraint by the reality of the Covid-19 pandemic that is currently gripping the country, from which cricket is not sparred.
“In an effort to make up for the time lost to amateur cricket, CSA is considering the possibility of extending the playing window to the end of May 2021. Further, Senior Provincial Men and Women will be prioritised as we explore the option of having tournaments played within bio-secure environments,” concluded Khoza.
CSA advised that revised tournament schedules will be announced at a later stage.
Potchefstroom to stage domestic One-Day Cup in a bio-bubble
Cricket South Africa have confirmed the fixtures for the domestic One-Day Cup competition and revealed that the tournament will be played in a bio-bubble in Potchefstroom.
The One-Day Cup will get underway on Saturday 9 January with the Titans meeting the Dolphins in the first of 15 round-robin matches.
Potchefstroom to stage One-Day Cup
CSA say that the One-Day Cup has been relocated to one stadium and will be played behind closed doors to minimize the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
The six franchises will be divided into two pools of three teams each.
The defending champion Dolphins share Pool A with the Titans and Knights and are scheduled to play each other twice between 09 – 16 January.
The Lions, Cobras and Warriors make up Pool B and are set to get their campaign underway from 29 January – 5 February. The tournament is staggered in this way to reduce the risk of infection.
CSA Director of Cricket Graeme Smith said: “It is a great to be able to reaffirm that the Momentum One-Day Cup is going ahead this summer. It is the first limited-overs competition of the season and the respective franchises are raring to get going following a couple of weeks out of competitive action.
“It is unfortunate that we have to reduce the number of matches being played and move the entire competition to one venue, but the restrictions need to be put in place to ensure the tournament goes ahead in a safe environment in accordance with Government regulations.”
Csa advised that the teams in Pool A will enter the Bio-Secure Environment on Monday 5 January in preparation for the opening fixture on Saturday, starting at 10:00.
All 15 matches will be broadcast live on SuperSport.
“Cricket South Africa is also pleased to confirm that all 15 matches will be televised live on SuperSport. With both our domestic and international tournaments currently being played behind closed doors, there is a strong appetite for live cricket.
“Televising every match will give fans unprecedented access to domestic cricket and showcase local talent in the absence of attending matches,” concluded Smith.
CSA has also introduced the new ICC Playing Condition where tied matches will be determined as per the following: If the Super Over is a tie, subsequent Super Overs shall be played limited to a minimum of one (1) and a maximum of three (3) to determine the winner. If all three Super Overs are tied the match shall be declared as a tie and the match points only will be shared.