Women’s T20 WC : South Africa aiming to inspire on home soil : Sune Luus
Cape Town : Ahead of their ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 opener against Sri Lanka at Newlands Cricket Ground, South Africa captain Sune Luus said her side must inspire a nation through their performances at home.
It is the first time South Africa are hosting the tournament and the Proteas, ranked fifth in the world and recently won a tri-series featuring India as well as West Indies, are favourites to make a winning start against a Sri Lanka side led by their talismanic batter Chamari Athapaththu.
In 2020, South Africa topped their group to reach the semifinals for the second time in their history of T20 World Cups but went down to eventual winners Australia in a rain-hit fixture.
But Luus is very much focused on her team’s impact on as well as off the field. “It is a massive honour to lead a country in any series, but at a home World Cup that makes it even more special.
I think apart from the cricketing things and apart from being successful and winning games, I think there’s a responsibility of inspiring a nation as well and inspiring young girls to get out of their comfort zones and to imagine a career that they can do anything.”
“I think that’s one of our biggest roles as a team we would like to play, not just winning games, but also inspiring a nation to give them that opportunity to know that they can be anything they want,” she said ahead of the tournament opener.
In their warm-up matches, South Africa fell short while chasing a huge total of 246 set by England, before defeating Pakistan by six wickets. Sri Lanka also had a victory and a loss to their name against Ireland and the West Indies respectively, and Sune is staying cautious regarding the threats their opponents pose, especially through spinners.
“They are going to throw a lot of spin overs at us. That is something we need to address and we are well prepared for that. They have a well-balanced side with some strong hitters and some players that can just knock it around, taking those ones and twos.
It’s going to be a game that we really need to try and be at our best.” With regular captain Dane van Niekerk missing out on the tournament for not meeting fitness requirements, Sune is confident that she will grow into the leadership role for the Proteas after having led them to a semi-final finish in the ODI World Cup in New Zealand last year.
“I guess it’s always difficult being a stand-in captain. You’re always one foot in, one foot out. But I think as I grew up, I was always a leader at some stage in whatever team I played.
So, I think those leadership qualities came naturally to me, and I think it’s a role I would really like to grow into.” “And I think every game you play; you get more accustomed to your teammates next to you and what they want and what they need.
So, I think every game you play, you grow into that role. And I think the older I get, the more I understand as well what needs to be done.” “At the moment, I’m an official captain, so I think it makes my job easier to take control and kind of stamp my authority on things and how I would like to go about things and how I would like to do things.
So, I think it comes with a new dimension, and it brings new challenges and difficulties, but it’s a challenge I’m willing to take on and accept and grow in that role.”
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