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Nackerdien pleased with widening selection pool

Cricket South Africa (CSA) National Women’s camp at the Powerade Centre of Excellence in Pretoria
Cricket South Africa (CSA) National Women’s camp at the Powerade Centre of Excellence in Pretoria
©Cricket South Africa

Proteas Women’s assistant coach, Salieg Nackerdien was delighted with the quality of work put in by the young players during the Cricket South Africa (CSA) National Women’s camp at the Powerade Centre of Excellence in Pretoria. He is also looking forward to more selection headaches going forward.

A mixture of the full nationally contracted team as well as  emerging talent from the Powerade National Academy and a couple of players identified as prospects for the future formed a 21-player squad that attended the intense camp alongside Proteas Women coaching staff and specialist consultants led by head coach, Hilton Moreeng.

Following their involvement in the national team camp, Nackerdien is excited to follow the progress of the up and coming youngsters during the CSA Women’s National Week taking place in Bloemfontein between 25-29 March, which will help widen the selection pool.

“The youngsters in the squad fitted in very nicely,” he commented.  “I am excited to see in a couple of months, where they are going to be. We are currently in a very good space in terms of wicket-keepers, spinners and batters. We need to build on that and make sure we cover our bases going into the National Women’s Week in Bloemfontein, see what talent is there on display and take it from there.

To maximise the effectiveness of the camp, CSA brought in added experience to work with the players in various areas of their game. Former South African fast bowler, Victor Mpitsang was joined by Andrew Puttick and Kruger van Wyk to assist in the bowling, batting and fielding aspects in consultancy roles.

Nackerdien believes that their contributions will add immense value going forward and praised the impact the trio had on the players, particularly the juniors in the side who were eager to learn and improve on their skills and game plans.

“They settled in nicely when we started our pre-tour camp for the series against Sri Lanka and built up relationships very quickly,” he continued. “Going into this camp, it was a big plus for us, to build on those relationships especially for the newcomers in the team, to see where they are and for the consultants to see the way we play, and where we can improve the players’ game plans.

“From what I saw, the interaction was great. The youngsters’ will to learn and how they picked the consultants’ brains to get information about the game plans, was fantastic.” Nackerdien added.

The national team are preparing to take on Pakistan in a three-match, One Day-International (ODI) and a five-match T20 series across five venues from 06-23 May. The 50-over clashes will  provide a crucial opportunity for South Africa to make further gains in in the ICC Women’s Championship (IWC) log with six points up for grabs.

Nackerdien says the camp not only gave them a selection headache but also allowed them to evaluate where the team is ahead of the vital home series.

“We obviously want to look at that six points first,” he stated. “It’s going to be tough. We’ve got our plans in order, we’ve prepared properly. During our camp, we were assessing to see where we are, what did we achieve, what did we not and where we need to improve.

“From a selection perspective, that is what we need to create. There mustn’t be an automatic team. The newcomers in the team, those who will get the opportunity must put the pressure on the current incumbents. That’s how we are going to build a good base, work ethic and the desire to play for the country.

“It’s a nice space to be in currently, with a mix of youth and experience as well as the talent coming through.”

CSA National Women’s Camp squad

 Lizelle Lee (North West), Robyn Searle (Gauteng), Yolani Fourie (Gauteng), Nadine de Klerk (Northerns), Moseline Daniels (Border), Zintle Mali (Border), Nonkululeko Thabete (Gauteng), Shabnim Ismail (Gauteng), Trisha Chetty (Gauteng), Tumi Sekhukhune (North West), Raisibe Ntozakhe (Gauteng), Masabata Klaas (North West), Ayabonga Khaka (Gauteng), Andrie Steyn (Western Province), Laura Wolvaardt (Western Province), Tazmin Brits (North West), Sune Luus (Northerns), Mignon du Preez (Northerns), Sinalo Jafta (North West), Nondumiso Shangase (KZN Coastal), Verunissa Reddy (Easterns).