Eng­land Women have fresh hope of Septem­ber re­turn against South Africa

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Cricket -

Hopes have grown that Eng­land Women will get to play in­ter­na­tion­als this sum­mer af­ter South Africa gave the go-ahead for their squad to start train­ing.

Eng­land had planned a tri-se­ries for the sum­mer against In­dia and South Africa. In­dia have since withdrawn, but South Africa’s strict Covid-19 lock­down has been loos­ened to al­low sports teams to be­gin prac­tis­ing.

The women’s team will be go­ing into a train­ing camp on Sun­day in the hope of re­ceiv­ing gov­ern­ment per­mis­sion to travel to Eng­land, where they are due to play two Twenty20 in­ter­na­tion­als and four one-day in­ter­na­tion­als be­tween Sept 1 and Sept 16.

De­spite the eas­ing of re­stric­tions, the South African border re­mains closed save for repa­tri­a­tion flights as the num­ber of coron­avirus in­fec­tions in­creases, but Cricket South Africa has called up 24 play­ers for the week-long camp at the High Per­for­mance Cen­tre in Pre­to­ria.

It is the first time they have as­sem­bled since reach­ing the Women’s T20 World Cup semi-fi­nals in Aus­tralia in March.

“The pro­jected tour of Eng­land will have a heavy em­pha­sis on the 50-over for­mat as we start pre­par­ing for the Women’s World Cup, which is still sched­uled to be played in New Zealand early next year,” Graeme Smith, CSA’s direc­tor of cricket, said.

“We have been through a frus­trat­ing pe­riod with the team not able to build on the ex­cel­lent form they showed at the Women’s T20 World Cup and next week’s camp rep­re­sents an im­por­tant new start­ing point.”

The squad will re­turn to their re­spec­tive prov­inces for in­di­vid­ual train­ing from Aug 2-14. They will again as­sem­ble for a two-week camp from Aug 16-27.

Play­ers and sup­port staff are un­der­go­ing Covid-19 tests and will need to clear the test again to at­tend the sec­ond camp.

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