Cape Town:Cape Town’s Table Mountain was the backdrop for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Captains’ Day, setting the tone for an exciting month of fast-paced and high-energy cricket as the World Cup comes to South African shores for the very first time.
The Captains’ Day which took place at Cape Town’s Waterfront marks the start of the eight edition of the World Cup which is now just six days away.
The wait for Africa’s first Women’s T20 World Cup is nearly over as the 10 best teams in the world will be in action across three iconic venues, Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town, Boland Park in Paarl and St George’s Park in Gqeberha, with the opening match taking place on February 10, when South Africa face Sri Lanka at Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town.
The 10 captains have shared their excitement and thoughts ahead of the start of the event.
India’s Harmanpreet Kaur said, “After watching the U19 World Cup, we are motivated to do what they have done. They have motivated us to do well, they have done it and we have not done it yet. It was a very special moment for all of us and after watching the U19s many of the girls back home will also want to play cricket and that’s always our aim to motivate young girls who can come and play cricket.”
Australia’s Meg Lanning said, “It’s great to be here, we’ve been looking forward to this tournament for a while. We’ve spent a couple of days getting used to the new climate – it’s pretty hot here – and there’s some amazing things to see and experience. We’re pumped to be here, World Cups are always massive to be a part of and we’re looking forward to taking on everyone else in our pool and hopefully, playing well.”
New Zealand’s Sophie Devine said, “It’s such an awesome experience. Taking part in a World Cup is such a special moment and honour to represent your country. This is an awesome opportunity to show off our beautiful game to the rest of the world.”
South Africa’s Sune Luus said, “I’m extremely excited to be here as part of this historic moment for South African cricket, hosting a women’s T20 World Cup for the very first time. As a team, we’re really excited to be representing our nation here at home and we’re looking forward to doing everything we can to keep the trophy here at home. The excitement that we’ve experience from people here in Cape Town and all over the country, telling us how excited they are to support us and the tournament has been really humbling and we just want to go out there and do our best for them.
Sri Lanka’s Chamari Athapaththu said, “In Sri Lanka, a lot of young girls are beginning to play cricket because they are looking up to myself and our team. The support we have been getting has been really great from back home and we are excited to play in this T20 World Cup and play for our country.”
Bangladesh’s Nigar Sultana Joty said, “It’s great to be here and we are so happy to qualify for this tournament. So many of us have played cricket for many years, but this is only our fifth T20 World Cup. We have never gotten a win, but we are looking forward to trying our best for this one.”
Pakistan’s Bismah Maroof said,“We have improved as a team over the years and this tournament gives us another opportunity to test ourselves. We are all pumped up and we’re excited to put in our best efforts to create good results for our team.”
England’s Heather Knight said, “Our job as a team is to play the group games in front of us and to try to get out of the group stages. Everyone starts on the same page, we’re pretty clear as a team how we want to go about things and in a T20 World Cup, you don’t have much chance to slip up and our sole focus is on that.”
“Us as a squad we’ve brought in a few young players (from the U19 team) which has kept us old girls on our toes and we’ve got that real nice balance of youth and experience. The amount of young players coming through, it’s great to see cricket as a real option for young girls around the world,” she said.
Ireland’s Laura Delany said, “After we didn’t qualify for the last World Cup cricket in Ireland has changed massively over the last three or four years and the introduction of full-time contracts has now allowed us to train on a full time basis but now guarantees us games against the best sides in the world and as a team that’s the only way we’re going to grow and develop. We’re looking forward of the next couple of weeks, we know it’s going to be a tough challenge but it’s one that we welcome.”
West Indies’ Hayley Matthews said, “We’ve had the tri-series between ourselves, india and South Africa and it was a really great opportunity to be down here and get acclimatized to the conditions and see where we’re at with our game as well. A good opportunity for us to get out there in a T20 World Cup in a place we’ve been quite a lot over the last couple of years.”
The ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 will be putting on a spectacular show for all spectators, with entertainment and festivities at the centre of a day out at the cricket. Fans can look out for top South African artists performing at prominent matches, DJs on the decks, giveaways and more, a memorable and inclusive experience for everyone.