Brits to lead Proteas as Wolvaardt celebrates success Down Under

02 December 2023 - 14:30
By Stuart Hess
Tazmin Brits will captain South Africa in the first T20 International against Bangladesh in Benoni on Sunday
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images Tazmin Brits will captain South Africa in the first T20 International against Bangladesh in Benoni on Sunday

Eighteen months ago there were doubts about Tazmin Brits' future in the Proteas team — on Sunday she will lead her country in the first T20 International against Bangladesh in Benoni.

A bubbly and congenial individual, the 32-year-old Brits will draw on her experience as skipper of provincial team South Western Districts to aid her. “It is a privilege and honour just to play for your country, so to captain, is yoh ...” Brits smiled. 

Exactly how long her stand-in period lasts will be determined by Laura Wolvaardt, who is expected back in the country by Monday at the latest. Wolvaardt top scored for the Adelaide Strikers in the final of the Women’s Big Bash on Saturday helping them to successfully defend their title against the Brisbane Heat.

Though Brits has always been a clean striker and is one of the team’s best fielders, her inconsistency at the top of the order meant she wasn’t always assured of a starting birth. But the selectors kept faith with her, and she managed to somewhat resolve issues with her technique to finish among the top five run-scorers at this year’s T20 World Cup. 

Wolvaardt was only confirmed as full-time skipper 10 days ago, while Brits was told on Friday night that she would be leading the team in the series opener at Willowmoore Park. The ever-smiling Brits doesn’t expect that the team’s momentum will be hampered by Wolvaardt’s absence. 

“I’m very excited to see how the youngsters perform. Sometimes fresh blood is good so I am really looking forward to what they offer.” 

Besides Wolvaardt, the Proteas will also be missing Marizanne Kapp, Chloe Tryon, Ayabonga Khaka and Nadine de Klerk for the three match T20 series. In their absence a new crop of players are being given a taste of the international scene including Ayanda Hlubi, Eliz-Mari Marx, Mieke de Ridder and Annerie Dercksen.

“We are heading towards the next (T20) World Cup in 2024 and we want our young players to just try to feel comfortable in this environment,” said Brits. 

Besides assessing some of the younger talent in the T20s, the subsequent three-match ODI series perhaps holds even more importance with the Proteas looking to hold onto a top four spot in the ICC Women’s Championship which would ensure automatic qualification for the 2025 50-overs World Cup in India. 

The first ODI will be played on December 16.