Trisha Chetty, South Africa Women’s first-choice wicketkeeper for the last 10 years, has been dropped for the Proteas' upcoming tour of England, but there are few other changes to the squads that swept both the five-match ODI series and three-match T20I series against Bangladesh.
The 29-year old Chetty first played for her country in 2007 and has since notched up over 100 ODI and 50 T20I appearances, maintaining an ODI average of above 30 and scoring 16 50s in the format. But her form has tailed off in the past year – since the start of the Women’s World Cup 2017 she has an averages 17.18 in 13 innings with no half-centuries – and with the next 50-over world tournament three years away, the selectors have indicated that they are looking to the future.
“We’re paying a lot of attention to the 2021 World Cup preparations,” national convenor of selectors Clinton Du Preez said. “The ICC Women’s Championship program right now gives us enough time to have a look at combinations, have a look at players coming in, especially players who have just made their debuts recently. It’s a great opportunity for them to blend into the squad and to also be a part of the joys of being a national player. We are confident that the England tour will see some of the most exciting cricket from this team yet.”
Those new players include three players who made their debuts during Bangladesh’s tour of South Africa: Right-arm seamer Zintle Mali, who took two wickets and maintained an economy rate of 3.00 in the three ODIs she played; Tazmin Brits, an occasional wicketkeeper and former javelin youth world champion, who top-scored with 29 in the Proteas’ rain-curtailed victory in the third T20I; and Stacey Lackay, who only faced five balls across three T20I appearances but, according to Du Preez, “put up fabulous performances at the CSA Women’s Cricket Week”.
Though Brits is an option, taking Chetty’s place behind the stumps will most likely be Lizelle Lee, who has done so on several occasions throughout her career, including during the T20I series against Bangladesh.
South Africa will play three ODIs against England before taking part in a T20I tri-series also involving New Zealand. “This tour of England was a great opportunity for us to take 15 players along, also to give players who have performed at provincial level an opportunity to further prove themselves in tougher conditions,” said Du Preez. “We thought of the opportunity of getting them in with the intentions of planning ahead for the 2018 World T20 in West Indies, looking at one or two options who can bolster our squad.
“Having looked at the performances during the Bangladesh T20 series, there is enough for us to be happy about for the future and I think together with the core players in our team, we’re looking forward confidently to putting up top performances in England against two of the top teams in world cricket. We’re also placing a great focus on the preparation for the T20 World Cup because that for us is key at the moment.”
Squad: Dané van Niekerk (c), Lizelle Lee (wk), Chloe Tryon, Mignon du Preez, Marizanne Kapp, Shabnim Ismail, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Raisibe Ntozakhe, Suné Luus, Laura Wolvaardt, Andrie Steyn, Zintle Mali, Tazmin Brits, Stacey Lackay