England Women have fresh hope of September return against South Africa
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 India have since withdrawn, but South Africa’s strict Covid-19 lockdown has been loosened to allow sports teams to begin practising.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.