The South African team led by Sune Luus believes they have contributed to increasing interest in cricket in their nation and is now giving the initiative over to the regulatory body, the CSA, to maintain the momentum they began.
South Africa Women have shown to be the most successful white-ball team in the nation by making their first senior World Cup final, but they think they will need more money and resources in order to compete with elite teams.
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Sune Luus Hopeful Of Getting SA20 For Women
“We’ve done our best to give the girls in the country the best possible chance,” Luus said. “We would have obviously loved to win, but I don’t think we could have given it a bigger shot and more of a chance. It’s obviously up to CSA and the Minister of Sport and whoever’s in charge of cricket in this country to knock on doors and open those doors and give women’s cricket the best chance they could possibly have to keep up with Australia, with England and with India.”
Despite the fact that India’s maiden T20 women’s league doesn’t begin until next week, Luus was specifically referring to those three nations and the part they play in the growth of the sport when she mentioned them. She referred to the WPL as “massive for women’s cricket” and urged CSA to take into account creating a women’s version of its brand-new SA20 league.
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“Hopefully [we] get an SA20 for women’s as well,” she said. “That would really, really help South African women’s cricket, especially just to get that depth that we keep talking about.
“If you look at all those leagues – they are in the top three nations, and that’s why they’re so good. That’s why they have that depth, because they have leagues where overseas players come and play and you get used to playing with them and against them. That’s something we really need to look at.
We’ve been asking for a very long time for an SA League. I know it’s budget constrained, and there’s always resources and all those things but we’ve given our girls the best chance we could have. And it’s up to CSA and everyone involved to kind of make that happen and give it our best shot.”
When CSA’s previous two attempts at a T20 league failed, the SA20 was introduced this summer and was an immediate success. The league will make money in its debut season thanks to the ownership of all six clubs by IPL franchises and a television agreement in India. Initially, there was talk of a women’s spin-off event starting in the second year, but in recent weeks, it has been apparent that the introduction of a women’s SA20 may be hampered by the schedules of the WBBL in December–January and the WPL in March.
South Africa Lacks Depth That Teams Like Australia Have
The lack of female cricket players in the provincial system, which would be necessary to create a top-notch franchise league, is also said to worry the organisers. Luus does not want CSA to find itself in that particular chicken-and-egg scenario. The unsaid concern was how they would develop players who would be qualified to compete in a league without establishing one.
The T20 World Cup’s success is still being extensively analysed, so the answers won’t be available right once. What is obvious is that South Africa, who have fewer resources than Australia but are catching up and may have even punched above their weight, while Australia, who are now six-time winners, still have a significant gap between themselves and the others.
“If you look at our structures and our setup, there are still massive differences [with Australia],” Laura Wolvaardt, who scored 61 off 48 in the final. said. “The depth that they have in their cricket is incredible. If they lose one player, they can replace it with a carbon copy of another player. We don’t really always have that luxury. They’re years ahead of us development-wise. We can’t deny that fact. So I think we’ve put on a good show to make it all the way to the final with what we have.”
We Got A Sniff Of How A Final Is: Sune Luus
South Africa has a solid core set of players, led by its seasoned seam attack of Shabnim Ismail, Marizanne Kapp, and Ayabonga Khaka. They have a combined 40 years of playing experience, and each of them has stated that making it to the finals was the realisation of a lifelong goal. For Luus, her otherwise youthful squad was able to deliver the seniors what they had fought for from the beginning. Luus now hopes to lead South Africa to its first World Cup by going one step further.
“We got a sniff of how a final is, and the feelings and the nerves and everything,” Luus said. “Now we have a heartache of not winning a final. But getting through that hurdle of the semi-final – at next year’s World Cup, when we get there again, it’s not going to be a big thing for us anymore to break that curse. It’s just for us to really look at that final and say, ‘Okay, cool, how are we going to get through the final and be on the other side of that?’”
If she comes out as being overly idealistic, remember that South Africa dared to dream big. Shortly before the World Cup started, organisers weren’t even confident they would pull one large audience, let alone three record crowds at Newlands— for the opener, the semifinal, and the final— as well as packed stadiums at St. George’s Park and Boland Park. South Africa wants to go forward into the T20 league era after this World Cup, but for the time being, they just want to enjoy the experience.
“When we started the tournament, we were hoping it wasn’t going to be too embarrassing with empty stadiums, following up on the MCG three years ago. We just hoped there would be a couple of people coming to the game,” Luus said. “To see this at every single game we’ve played is absolutely next level.
The country were really behind us and it’s something we never really thought would happen. It’s such an honour to be able to have that opportunity to inspire a nation and for them to come out and watch us play. It was such a blessing.”
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