South Africa's women were hit even harder by the sporting boycott caused by apartheid than their male counterparts and didn't make their World Cup debut until 1997, despite initially being invited to the inaugural event in 1973 before having it withdrawn following protests.
Since their 1997 appearance, progress has slowed after an encouraging start. In their first tournament, they qualified ahead of Denmark and Pakistan for the quarter-finals before losing heavily to India. In 2000, they went one better and beat one of the favourites England to qualify for the semi-finals where they lost to Australia.
However, they failed to progress and as other teams, most notably the West Indies, improved South Africa’s results have stagnated. This culminated in them losing all three group games in the last world cup, held in Australia.
Since then, though, things have begun to look more encouraging. They beat Bangladesh in Bangladesh in an ODI series last year and, more recently, won the first two matches of a five-match series against the West Indies, before the hosts and world cup outsiders bounced back.
Key players for the Proteas include wicket-keeper Trisha Chetty, who is likely to open the batting, as well as captain Mignon du Preez. One of their most exciting players is 19 year-old all-rounder Dane van Niekerk. She played an important role in South Africa’s encouraging recent performance in the Caribbean, taking seven wickets in the first two game.
South Africa cannot realistically hope to win the World Cup, but should really beat Pakistan and progress to the Super Six stage, from where matches against India and the West Indies will prove crucial in their attempts to reach the final.
2012-13 Form (most recent match first): LALWWWWL
15th January: lost to West Indies by 22 runs in Dominica
13th January: no result v West Indies in Dominica
12th January: lost to West Indies by 8 wickets in Dominica
9th January: beat West Indies by 4 wickets in St Kitts
7th January: beat West Indies by 80 runs in St Kitts
9th September: beat Bangladesh by 7 wickets in Dhaka
7th September: beat Bangladesh by 4 wickets in Dhaka
6th September: lost to Bangladesh by 2 wickets in Dhaka
Previous Tournament Performances
1973, 1978, 1982, 1988, 1993 : Didn’t participate
1997: Lost in quarter-final to India
2000: Lost in semi-final to Australia
2005: Finished seventh in group stage, despite beating West Indies in a thriller
2009: Lost all three Group A matches including to West Indies, easily won seventh-place play-off against Sri Lanka
1st February v New Zealand in Cuttack
3rd February v Australia in Cuttack
5th February v Pakistan in Cuttack
Mignon du Preez (captain, RHB), Trisha Chetty (vice-captain, RHB/WK), Susan Benade (RHB/RMF), Cri-zelda Brits (RHB/RMF), Savanna Cordes (RHB), Dinesha Devnarain (RHB/RM, Shandre Fritz (RHB/RM), Shabnim Ismail (LHB/RFM), Marizanne Kapp (RHB/RM), Marcia Letsoalo (RHB/RM), Suneete Loubser (RHB/OB), Yolandi Potgeiter (RHB/RM), Elrisa Theunissen (RHB/RM), Chloe Tryon (RHB/LMF), Dane van Niekerk (RHB/LB).
© Cricket World 2013
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