World Cup focus takes centre stage ahead of T20I series against Sri Lanka

Proteas captain Laura Wolvaardt believes the upcoming T20I series against Sri Lanka will hep the team prepare for this year’s Women’s T20 World Cup in Bangladesh. Photo: Marco Longari/AFP

Proteas captain Laura Wolvaardt believes the upcoming T20I series against Sri Lanka will hep the team prepare for this year’s Women’s T20 World Cup in Bangladesh. Photo: Marco Longari/AFP

Published Mar 26, 2024


In the build-up to the exciting T20 International (T20I) series against Sri Lanka, Proteas Women captain Laura Wolvaardt laid out the team’s ambitions for the upcoming three-match contest set to be held in Benoni, Potchefstroom and East London from 27 March - 03 April.

The first T20I gets underway on Wednesday, 27 March at Willowmoore Park in Benoni from 6pm, with the match broadcast live on SuperSport Grandstand (Channel 201). Tickets are available at the stadium or online via TicketPro from R40.

Commenting at the pre-match press conference ahead of the series-opener, Wolvaardt highlighted the significance of the T20I matches against Sri Lanka, in relation to the 2024 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in Bangladesh later this year.

“Very crucial,” the skipper noted. “We don't have much cricket left as a group before the World Cup, so these three T20Is are very important just to try different combinations and to finalize that starting XI that we'd like to have for the World Cup,”

Despite South Africa holding a stern record against Sri Lanka in T20I cricket, with 10 wins out of 14 matches, the Proteas suffered a narrow three-run defeat the last time these two sides faced off in the first match of the T20 World Cup hosted in South Africa in February 2023.

Taking the opponent’s solid form in the 2023/24 season, Wolvaardt stated; “It’s not a series that we're taking lightly at all. Sri Lanka has been very good in the past couple of months, beating England as well in the T20I series, so we're going to be looking to start strong on the front foot.”

After a downward turn in form during the recent multi-format tour to Australia, the 24-year-old opening batter takes a positive outlook into the battle against Sri Lanka after refinding her rhythm with the bat during the Women’s Premier League (WPL) in India earlier this month.

“I didn't have my best series in Australia, especially in the ODIs and the Test match but I was able to have one or two good knocks in the WPL, so I was very grateful to get a few games over there and just to have fun and enjoy the experience.

“What I did differently, I think not too much, which is what's probably a bit frustrating from a cricketing point of view, because I feel like I didn't try too much different, I just had a bad Australian series.

“My focus has been just to sharpen up on some technical things and overall, I am feeling good, feeling fresh and really enjoyed batting again at the WPL, so looking forward to the series,” the captain commented.

With former captain Suné Luus set to break the T20I caps record for the Proteas Women if selected in the first T20I (Mignon du Preez is currently joint-top with Luus on 114 caps), Wolvaardt shared her thoughts on her long-term teammates’ pending achievement and her impact on the team over the last decade.

“That's an awesome stat. I didn't know that and to think she's only 28, so she'll still be able to get a lot more games. She's been a part of the side for probably as long as anyone can remember and has been performing well with the bat lately. She's put a lot of hard work into her batting, especially in the recent off-season. It's been great to see her sort of reap the rewards in the past couple of games.

“Having captained the side in the past, having that experience and having that many T20Is, helps a lot. With the advice that she can give and the information she can share, it's been great having her around the group,” she added.

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