Women cricketers play it hard - Times LIVE
   
Latest
Mon May 29 13:29:17 SAST 2017

Women cricketers play it hard

Archie Henderson | 2017-05-03 08:04:57.0
National team captain Dane van Niekerk and star fast bowler Marizanne Kapp were just happy to be contracted, which leaves the team free from any financial anxieties as they prepare for the World Cup in England next month. File photo
Image by: GETTY IMAGES

Women's cricket has come a long way since one of its annual fixtures was against the local Press XI, a game the scribes usually won on the field but lost in the down-downs at the bar afterwards.

Today, the South African women's team would not stoop to such levels; they take the game seriously now.

That's one indication of how far women's cricket has come.

Another is that in Australia, where the women's game has taken off in a big way, the players recently received a 125% pay increase for an average yearly wage of R1.8-million.

It sounds good, but it's still a long way off the Australian men's pay packet of R8-million.

In South Africa, there is an old-fashioned refusal by the authorities to discuss how much is paid and a diplomatic politeness from the players.

National team captain Dane van Niekerk and star fast bowler Marizanne Kapp were just happy to be contracted, which leaves the team free from any financial anxieties as they prepare for the World Cup in England next month.

There is no such restraint in Australia. Their women's captain, Meg Lanning, believes they could get even more money and has won support from Daisy Pearce, captain of the women's AFL (footy) team.

Whatever the South Africans are getting, we will only be able to judge next month if they are worth it. They definitely won't win the World Cup, but if they deliver good performances they can make a strong case for even a raise.

Their World Cup campaign starts this week already when they are involved in a four-nation warm-up tournament in Potchefstroom, North West. The other three teams are India, who in February beat South Africa in the final of the World Cup qualifying tournament, Ireland and Zimbabwe, who both didn't qualify.

The two matches against India, on Sunday and next Wednesday, are of particular interest.

In a way, says Van Niekerk, it's a chance for revenge, and much of it will be up to Kapp, who will thrive on familiar wickets.

Kapp, the world's leading one-day international bowler, says the South Africans play it hard, like the men. India won't hold back either, and have even risked being labelled sexist in their pursuit of World Cup success. Last week the players insisted their coach be sacked because she is a woman.

Purnima Rau was fired because, the players said, they needed a man to improve their fielding skills, which were poor in the qualifying tournament. Rau has been replaced by Tushar Arothe, a 50-year-old former first-class player who knows a bit about throwing and catching.

South Africa's main opponents in Potchefstroom, it seems, are determined not to be accused of throwing like girls.

SHARE YOUR OPINION

If you have an opinion you would like to share on this article, please send us an e-mail to the Times LIVE iLIVE team. In the mean time, click here to view the Times LIVE iLIVE section.
X