Tournament vital to women’s cricket

2019-03-27 06:00
Laura Wolvaardt of the Western Pro­vince has scored 100 from 99 deliveries in the Women’s National Week Tournament.    Photo: Supplied

Laura Wolvaardt of the Western Pro­vince has scored 100 from 99 deliveries in the Women’s National Week Tournament. Photo: Supplied

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South Africa’s women’s cricket champion will be crowned in Bloemfontein on Friday (29/03) following the end of the Women’s National Week Tournament.

This competition by Cricket South Africa (CSA) is underway in the Free State capital, and features eight top women’s teams.

The provincial sides have been split into two pools.

This year’s tournament commenced on Monday (25/03) and will end on Friday.

All the matches are being played at the St Andrew’s School and the Central University of Technology (CUT), Free State.

The final standings and champions will be determined by play-off matches.

The top six teams will form part of the national pool next season, while the bottom two teams will be relegated to the regional inland and coastal pools.

The Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and the North West each has one team competing, while the Western Cape is represented by three clubs and Gauteng by two.

Johan Weyers, CSA senior cricket manager, is delighted with the high level of competition showcased in this five-day tournament.

“It is great to see the top eight provincial teams going head to head during this week. We are expecting good quality cricket,” he said.

The Proteas women’s management and technical team, along with the head coach and assistant coach, are expected to attend the competition.

The Western Province is the tournament’s defending champion, and will be fighting to retain the title against a powerful North West outfit, which has shown great improvement. The team has won all five of its matches during the regular season.

Although the competition is essentially a platform for provincial players to showcase their talents, nationally contracted players such as Proteas Women’s Laura Wolvaardt, Lizelle Lee, Raisibe Ntozakhe and Chloe Tryon will also feature for their sides.

Weyers believes featuring top-quality players will provide a major boost for younger players, while allowing CSA the opportunity to gauge local players’ progress in relation to that of their national com­patriots.

“It is a great opportunity for the domestic players to test their skills against our national players,” Weyers said.

“We use this tournament to assess the skills gap between provincial and national players. This will prepare players for national academy programmes and competing at a higher levelas well as the SA Emerging tours coming up, for these players to bridge this skills gap and compete on a higher level.

“It also gives our Inland and Coastal pools better playing exposure. This bodes for, competing against the top six in the country, which only bodes well for women’s cricket in our country.”

Pool A Pool B

North West Western Province

Northerns Border

Gauteng Boland

KwaZulu-Natal Coastal

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