Women Proteas ready for T20 WC

Saturday Star - - METRO - Sameer.naik@inl.co.za

GAUT­ENG MEC for Com­mu­nity Safety Siza­kele Nkosi-mal­obane wel­comed the ar­rest of a man who is be­lieved to be the mur­derer of sib­lings in Tshep­isong on the West Rand.

He was ar­rested on Wed­nes­day in Mombela, Nel­spruit, by the Krugers­dorp The Fam­ily Vi­o­lence, Child Pro­tec­tion and Sex­ual Of­fences unit.

Po­lice spokesper­son Colonel Lun­gelo Dlamini said the team had been fol­low­ing up in­for­ma­tion when they made the ar­rest.

Muzi, 8, and his sis­ter Elam Mdibi, 9, were found in a pit on Oc­to­ber 1, be­hind Slovoville ceme­tery in Soweto. Their hands were tied be­hind their backs and they had been blind­folded. Their mother, Andiswa, had to iden­tify them in the mor­tu­ary from clothes they were wear­ing on the day they dis­ap­peared.

The two went miss­ing on Septem­ber 7, while play­ing out­side their house. It is al­leged Andiswa’s ex-boyfriend ab­ducted them. She said he phoned her and said he would swop her for them and that he was go­ing to kill her. He told her to ar­range her own cof­fin and then handed the phone to Muzi, who told her to call the po­lice. Those were the last words she heard from her son, Andiswa said.

The com­mu­nity be­lieved the man had fled to Mozam­bique, but Dlamini said he had re­mained South Africa.

Dlamini said the sus­pect would be ap­pear­ing in the Kag­iso Mag­is­trates Court on charges of mur­der and kid­nap­ping on Mon­day.

SAMEER NAIK

PROTEAS women skip­per Dane van Niek­erk doesn’t shy away when asked about her team’s chances of lift­ing the ICC Women’s World T20 tro­phy.

“What type of cap­tain would I be if I say no,” Niek­erk told the Sat­ur­day Star this week from her ho­tel in the West Indies.

“If you are com­pet­ing in a World Cup and don’t be­lieve that you can go all the way and win the tour­na­ment, then you shouldn’t be here. We’re very ca­pa­ble of win­ning the tour­na­ment.”

In­dia and New Zealand opened the Women’s World T20 in Guyana last night.

Van Niek­erk’s side be­gin their chal­lenge in the first ever stand­alone ICC Women’s T20 on Tues­day morn­ing (SA time) against Sri Lanka.

They are in group A and will come up against the likes of West Indies, Eng­land, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh.

While win­ning a World Cup has eluded the men’s na­tional cricket team, Van Niek­erk is keen to stress that it is un­fair to make com­par­isons be­tween the men’s and women’s team.

“We’ve been asked this ques­tion a cou­ple of times,” said van Niek­erk.

“We aren’t the men. We sup­port them 100%, but we aren’t the men. We want to cre­ate our own brand. We need to get to semi-fi­nals more of­ten for peo­ple to have that opin­ion about us. This time get we need to get to the fi­nals and not just make it as far as the semi-fi­nals,” she said.

The 25-year-old cap­tain be­lieves the Proteas have per­fect prepa­ra­tion ahead of the tour­na­ment and are now ready to de­liver.

“We were lucky enough to spend a month prior to this World Cup in Bar­ba­dos and Trinidad, so we got a bit of a sneak peek of the con­di­tions.

“We played re­ally well. We were down and out in the T20 se­ries but came back to win the last two to level the se­ries, which was bril­liant and gave us plenty of con­fi­dence.

“So that was the best prepa­ra­tion we could ask for,” she said.

The Proteas women, un­der the stew­ard­ship of Hil­ton Moreeng, played four warm-up games in the build-up to the World Cup, play­ing two un­of­fi­cial games against Eng­land and In­dia, and two of­fi­cial warm-up games against Pak­istan and Aus­tralia. While Van Niek­erk’s troops may have lost both of their of­fi­cial warm-up games, she in­sists there is no rea­son to panic.

“Our bat­ting is a bit of a con­cern at the mo­ment.

“We haven’t gone past a hun­dred in both games, so it is a bit wor­ry­ing, but we want to peak at the right time.”

The team chem­istry has also been great ahead of the tour­na­ment.

“The be­lief is there. Ev­ery­one is ex­cited to take to the field in the first game and play a team like Sri Lanka.”

Her play­ers won’t be un­der­es­ti­mat­ing any of the teams in the T20 tour­na­ment.

“Every sin­gle team we’re go­ing to take on is a threat. Each team, on their day, can be very de­struc­tive,” she said.

They are look­ing for­ward to play­ing in the Caribbean next month.

“It’s a beau­ti­ful place to play cricket. It’s chal­leng­ing as the cli­mate is dif­fer­ent to what we used to but we are very blessed to be here and to ex­pe­ri­ence th­ese con­di­tions,” she said.

Proteas women’s team mem­bers con­grat­u­late each other af­ter grab­bing an­other wicket.

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