Cape Town, Feb 27 (IANS) South Africa skipper Sune Luus has urged Cricket South Africa (CSA) and stakeholders involved in running cricket in the country to invest more in women’s cricket so that it can build up on the runners-up finish in the 2023 Women’s T20 World Cup on home soil.
Although South Africa went down to Australia in a sell-out final at Newlands on Sunday, they did get the best-ever result for a team from the African nation in a senior global tournament by reaching a final for the first time and ending up second best despite having two losses in the group stage of the competition.
“We’ve done our best to give the girls in the country the best possible chance. 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,” said Sune in the post-match press conference.
While Australia and England have Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) as well as The Hundred running successfully, India will be entering the women’s franchise cricket fold with the Women’s Premier League (WPL). Sune hopes that a women’s version of SA20 also comes up soon.
“(Start of WPL) that’s going to be massive for women’s cricket as well. I’m hoping it grows with the SA20 on the main side. Hopefully (we) get an SA20 for women’s as well. 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.”
Sune was also all praise for the ‘insane professionalism’ shown by the Meg Lanning-led Australian team that won their sixth Women’s T20 World Cup title and completed a three-peat of titles for the second time in their history of participating in the competition.
“Obviously they are a world machine. I think the level of professionalism is insane and I think, their team, the world has been looking up to for a very, very long time and they’re the best for a reason. I think, if you look at the structures and pipelines – everything is just lining up and everything is in order. So, I think that’s something definitely as a country we’re striving for.”
“And I think we obviously look at the structures and, you know, want to see what you know how we can do that best in our country as well. But obviously the best in the world for a reason. And we can only, try and get better and better to knock on those doors to eventually beat them.”