Stacey Lackay, Tasmin Brits picked in SA Women squad for England tour

Stacey Lackay and Tazmin Brits have been named in the South Africa Women Squad that will tour England in June-July following the pair’s eye-catching performances in the recent rout of Bangladesh. South Africa will play a three-match ODI series against the hosts as a part of the ICC International Women’s Championship. A T20 tri-series featuring New Zealand will follow.

The fresh faces in the squad, predominantly for the T20 format, have been picked with an eye on the World T20 in the West Indies in November. Wicket-keeper bat Brits made her T20I debut against Bangladesh, scoring 29 and 10 in the two games played. She made her mark before that in the emerging women’s tournament at home in April and is looked at as a possible long-term replacement for Trisha Chetty, who misses out from the squad.

Lackay didn’t get enough opportunities to contribute in the three T20Is played but is valued for her abilities with both bat and ball. Joining Lackay and Brits in the side is medium-pacer Zintle Mali, who claimed two wickets against Bangladesh while conceding at an average of 24 and a measly economy of 3.00 in the three ODIs against Bangladesh.

“This tour of England was a great opportunity for us to take 15 players along, also to give players who have performed at provincial level an opportunity to further prove themselves in tougher conditions,” National Convenor of selectors, Clinton du Preez. “Stacey Lackay put up fabulous performances at the (CSA) Women’s Cricket Week, Tazmin Brits had a good season and Zintle Mali showed how perseverance can reap great rewards. We thought of the opportunity of getting them in with the intentions of planning ahead for the 2018 World T20 in West Indies, looking at one or two options who can bolster our squad.

“Having looked at the performances during the Bangladesh T20 series, there is enough for us to be happy about for the future and I think together with the core players in our team, we’re looking forward confidently to putting up top performances in England against two of the top teams in world cricket. We’re also placing a great focus on the preparation for the T20 World Cup because that for us is key at the moment.”

All of the matches in the ODI series will form part of the Championship, the qualifying tournament for the 2021 ICC Women’s World Cup. England and South Africa have played just the one series in this cycle, that they lost against Australia and India respectively, and find themselves in sixth and seventh place respectively.

“We’re paying a lot of attention to the 2021 World Cup preparations,” Du Preez continued. “The IWC program right now gives us enough time to have a look at combinations, have a look at players coming in, especially players who have just made their debuts recently. It’s a great opportunity for them to blend into the squad and to also be a part of the joys of being a national player. We are confident that the England tour will see some of the most exciting cricket from this team yet,” du Preez added.

Squad: Dane van Niekerk (c), Lizelle Lee, Chloe Tryon, Mignon du Preez, Marizanne Kapp, Shabnim Ismail, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Raisibe Ntozakhe, Sune Luus, Laura Wolvaardt, Andrie Steyn, Zintle Mali, Stacey Lackay, Tazmin Brits

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