Tumi Sekhukhune (Easterns), Saarah Smith (Western Province) and Robin Searle (Gauteng) have earned maiden-call ups to the South Africa Women squad for the forthcoming limited-overs tour of the Caribbean. The trio were selected after impressing in the 26-member North-v-South T20 competition in Pretoria.
The 15-member squad also sees a return for Trisha Chetty, who missed South Africa’s tour of England while Ayabonga Khaka, who played in South Africa’s most-recent ODI assignment, has been ruled out with a shoulder injury for which she recently underwent surgery.
South Africa Women will play three One-Day Internationals and five T20Is in Barbados and Trinidad starting on September 16. The three-match ODI series will be part of the International Women’s Championship – the tournament that determines direct qualification for the 2021 50-over World Cup in New Zealand. South Africa currently stand seventh in the standings, having recently lost 2-1 in the ODIs versus England.
The tour is particularly crucial for the Dane van Niekerk-led side given they will be playing in Windies merely a couple of months before the showpiece World T20 2018 and will want to use the games to acclimatise to the conditions and build their combination.
“As a selection panel, we conducted a debrief from the England tour and also the successful Bangladesh tour prior to that. We discovered that there were a few areas where the team were falling short and we realized we had to look at different options and different types of skill-sets to try and set ourselves up well for the West Indies tour with the World Cup not far behind after that,” National Convenor of Selectors Clinton du Preez said.
“We picked up a few players that have showed a lot of intent and potential, this is a really good opportunity for them to showcase their talent in the West Indies tour.
“Robyn Searle came and played something out of the ordinary during the North vs South tournament, she had a really good time at the national academy and she’s played some great knocks which has put her in good stead as she’s challenged for a place in the national team. Saarah Smith has come on board and shown a lot of intent in the national academy as well. She’s really pushed for her place and we’re looking forward to seeing what she’ll bring to the national side. Tumi (Sekhukhune) has used the opportunities that she has received in her two seasons at the national academy and shown tremendous growth and maturity in a short period of time and we’re interested to see how she will take to this new challenge in the national team.”
South Africa squad: Dane van Niekerk (c), Chloe Tryon, Laura Wolvaardt, Lizelle Lee, Sune Luus, Mignon du Preez, Marizanne Kapp, Shabnim Ismail, Raisibe Ntozakhe , Masabata Klaas, Zintle Mali, Trisha Chetty, Robyn Searle, Tumi Sekhukhune, Saarah Smith.
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