The Momentum Proteas’ performance at the recent ICC World Cup should be commended. The ladies put up a great fight until their last match in the semi-final against England. This was an improvement from the last World Cup held in India where they finished sixth. It was also the second time in the six tournaments that South Africa had reached the semis.
Having three players, captain Dane van Niekerk, Laura Wolvaardt and Marizanne Kapp, named in the Team of the Tournament proves that South Africa had a good squad at the competition. Having most of the squad contracted by Cricket South Africa could be the reason for this success.
But what more if South Africa had a professional league running? A league would help selectors have a bigger pool to pick from. Regular contest would make the players become sharper. Look at Wolvaardt, she sees batting as her favorite past time. Imagine the improvement on her game if she played regularly in a league format. She scored the second most runs at the World Cup after England’s Tamsin Beaumont.
Competitive cricket for women should however not just start at club level. It is important that leagues at school level for girls are also implemented and encouraged. Mini cricket is a start but what happens to the players thereafter? Players who start while they are younger, have a better chance to improve their game as they grow and move up into different levels of the game, regionally to provincial structures.