Home Cricket Marizanne Kapp Ready to Steer the Ship as South Africa Women’s Cricket Ushers in New Chapter

Marizanne Kapp Ready to Steer the Ship as South Africa Women’s Cricket Ushers in New Chapter

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South African Women's Cricket

Laura Wolvaardt is set to captain South Africa in their forthcoming matches against Pakistan and New Zealand.

It’s been a whirlwind of ups and downs over the past year for South African women’s cricket. Drama over fitness criteria clouded the exit of well-known figures Lizelle Lee and skipper Dane van Niekerk. Further departures by Mignon du Preez and more recently, Shabnim Ismail, resulted in the crumbling of a core team that had been the spine of the side for over a decade.

But let’s not forget—amid all the upheaval, they managed to reach their maiden World Cup final, staged right at home, although the Aussies did rain on their parade.

Marizanne Kapp, the indomitable all-rounder, has been the rock through these tumultuous times and is determined to shepherd the emerging squad through this transitional phase.

“It’s been a year full of trials,” said the 33-year-old Kapp in an interview with Sport Newes Center. “We built this team over 14 years to a point where we could dream of a World Cup final. Losing those players made the journey that much more emotional for me. These are not just teammates but friends.”

Having made her debut for South Africa in 2009, Kapp has carved a niche for herself as one of the globe’s premier all-rounders, showcasing her skills both in franchise cricket and on the global stage.

The fiery Shabnim Ismail stood beside her during the World Cup finale, but Kapp’s upcoming journey to Pakistan will be her first foray without her closest allies on the team.

“When it comes to playing for my country, I’m all in,” declared Kapp when probed about her continued commitment to international cricket amid growing opportunities in franchise leagues. “We’ve invested years of hard work into this team. I can’t sit back and watch us move backward. It might be a rough road ahead, but I’m here to get us on the right track. We aim to be more than just World Cup attendees; we aim to be contenders.”

Laura Wolvaardt steps in as the new captain, taking over from Sune Luus, who led the squad to their inaugural World Cup final but recently stepped down.

‘Bridging the Gap’

Kapp advocates for South African players to participate in competitions like The Hundred to gain more exposure.

“We have to catch up with cricketing powerhouses like Australia, England, and India,” Luus had said post-final. Cricket South Africa is already making strides by equating men’s and women’s match fees and launching a professional domestic system that will contract 11 players per team.

According to Kapp, nurturing a robust domestic circuit is imperative for South Africa to stay competitive against the likes of England and Australia, who are setting the pace, and India, which is riding the wave of its Women’s Premier League.

“The gap needs to be bridged, and pronto,” Kapp noted. “We lack competitions like The Hundred or the Women’s Big Bash. More of our players need to participate in these leagues to acclimate to the pressure and coaching dynamics, which can be pivotal in closing this gap.”

Chloe Tryon and Nadine de Klerk were also part of this year’s Hundred competition. De Klerk’s experience stands as a textbook example of how franchise play can benefit the South African team.

“The atmosphere was electrifying,” Kapp recollected De Klerk’s words. “The international game-changers are usually those who have cut their teeth in these leagues. Our young players need to get used to that kind of intensity and crowd pressure.”

‘Van Niekerk’s Best Is Yet to Come’

Marizanne Kapp and Dane van Niekerk, who tied the knot in 2018, remain influential figures in women’s cricket. Kapp admits she nudges Van Niekerk “from time to time” to return to international cricket.

Van Niekerk’s exit was a bitter pill to swallow, triggered not just by failing a 5km run in a fitness test but a combination of injuries and emotional toll.

“Dane’s tale is one of the sadder cricket stories. She’s a stellar player and still has her best innings ahead of her,” said Kapp. “Her retirement wasn’t about fitness. The journey drained her emotionally and mentally. However, she’s moving forward, and honestly, the game is richer when she’s on the field.”

So there you have it. A new chapter in South African women’s cricket is about to be written, and Marizanne Kapp is ready with her pen—or perhaps more fittingly, her bat and ball.

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SportsNut August 29, 2023 - 8:07 am

What happened to van Niekerk is sad, real sad. Hope she makes a comeback or somethin. She still got game.

CricketLover21 August 29, 2023 - 9:47 am

Laura Wolvaardt as new captain, thats huge! Hope she gets the team to new heights. all the best to her!

MovieBuff_Yolo August 29, 2023 - 1:07 pm

Its like a movie script. The veteran guiding the newbies, controversy, a shot at redemption. Someone call Hollywood!

SAAngel August 29, 2023 - 7:12 pm

equal pay for men and women? SA is stepping up! bout time other countries follow suit.

JakeTheFan August 29, 2023 - 9:18 pm

Wow, women’s cricket in South Africa’s going through some stuff, huh? Kapp seems like a rock tho. She’s like the Gandalf guiding the Hobbits through Mordor.

CasualReader August 29, 2023 - 10:53 pm

Never been a huge cricket fan but this is like a drama series. Maybe i’ll start watchin.

GeekyGal August 30, 2023 - 4:50 am

They really need leagues like The Hundred in SA. It’s not just about talent, its the experience that counts.

OldTimer August 30, 2023 - 5:38 am

Marizanne Kapp debuted in 2009? Man, she’s been around. Props to her for stickin with the team through thick n thin.


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