Wolvaardt hails 'incredible' rise of women's cricket, reveals childhood heroes

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Proteas batter Laura Wolvaardt
Proteas batter Laura Wolvaardt
  • Proteas star Laura Wolvaardt revealed that she looked up to a legendary Proteas trio growing up.
  • Wolvaardt has hailed the "incredible" popularity of the women's game.
  • She also stated that the Proteas women are looking to complete a 6-0 whitewash against Pakistan.

21-year-old Laura Wolvaardt has made her mark in women's cricket and growing up, the Proteas women's star had the privilege of watching some modern-day legendary stars.

While women's cricket in South Africa was at an all-time low, the Proteas men's side were conquering the international arena in the late 2000s.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Wolvaardt stated that when she first got started watching cricket, she looked up to some legendary Proteas batsmen.

"When I was very young, I only knew male players, women's cricket wasn't popular yet," she said on Tuesday.

"So I really liked Herschelle Gibbs growing up with Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers. But as I grew older, a lot of my team-mates I looked up to when I was little were the likes of Mignon du Preez and Marizanne Kapp.

"I'm still learning from a lot of the senior players and learning every day so to have that experience around, especially when you're playing in different conditions and countries.

"They add a lot of value to the team and just to have them around has been amazing and helped me as a cricketer."

Women's cricket has come a long way and the Proteas women have positioned themselves at the top.

The side has been in four World Cup semi-finals and their latest performance at the 2020 T20 World Cup saw South Africa suffer a five-run loss to hosts Australia.

So when Cricket South Africa (CSA) revealed a limited-over series against the Pakistan women at home, cricket fans rejoiced. The entire tour at Kingsmead has been broadcasted live on SuperSport despite the One Day Cup occurring at the same time in Potchefstroom.

Wolvaardt hailed the "incredible" growth of the women's game.

"If you look at how the game has grown in the past 10 years, I think it's been incredible," she said.

"Just to have the whole tournament on SuperSport has been great for us, to have more exposure and have people talk about the game has been really cool. We've seen how much the game has grown already so it's very exciting and I'm happy to be a part of it."

READ | Wolvaardt wants to be world's best but has World Cup glory in mind

Wolvaardt boasts an average of 45.36 from 53 ODIs but her T20I record hasn't been as good as she currently averages 22.75 from 27 caps.

While some of her Proteas team-mates had no competitive action for months, Wolvaardt had played in the Women's Big Bash League and CSA's Women's Super League.

Wolvaardt ended as the top run-scorer in the ODI series against Pakistan, scoring 125 runs, which included a 58.

She admitted that she had been disappointed with not kicking on in the middle.

"It's been a pretty frustrating couple of weeks for me, I am hitting it well when I get into the middle and then it's like I'm almost finding ways to get myself out like in the ODI series, the two run-outs. It's been frustrating, I just have to remain and be positive."

The Proteas have already clinched the three-match T20 series 2-0 ahead of the final T20 on Wednesday.

Wolvaardt admitted that the Proteas are looking to complete a 6-0 clean sweep tour after they beat Pakistan 3-0 in the three-match ODI series.

"We're 5-0 up in the series so far, it's definitely a happy camp. Especially in the fielding and batting where we highlighted things, there are always ways we can improve but we're happy with the results so far," she said.

"I think it's been a good series for us, mental strength-wise. We haven't had a perfect game yet. But we've been good in those pressure moments, especially the bowlers."

Play on Wednesday starts at 15:30.

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