South African news April 1, 2009

South Africa women eye Twenty20 turnaround

Cricinfo staff

South Africa are keen to put the disappointment of the women's World Cup behind them and start afresh for the World Twenty20 in England which starts on June 11. The team is placed in Group A along with World Cup runners-up New Zealand, Australia and West Indies and will hope to improve on their seventh position at last month's tournament.

Former South African batsman and South African Women's Committee president, Kerri Laing, believed that South Africa's work was cut out. But she was optimistic that the team would try to build on the lessons learnt from the World Cup. "Although the World Cup results were very disappointing, we have to focus on what went right and try to continue with them and what went wrong and try to improve on them," said Laing.

"There is a short turnaround time between the World Cup and the World Twenty20 tournament and we have to make sure our women are as best prepared as can be for a tournament which could be a launchpad for the team. We have arranged two camps in the build up to this tournament and we will soon be announcing the squad for these camps and the tournament in England."

Cricket South Africa's (CSA's) senior amateur cricket manager, Max Jordaan, said the team would need to "ensure a top four finish". "We need to re-focus our energies and be ready for the World Twenty20," Jordaan said. "We shall be having a training camp at the University of the Western Cape in a fortnight to prepare well ahead of the tournament. We shall have another one prior to our team leaving for England."

Jordaan said it was necessary that coach Noor Rhode be with the squad before they take on Australia in the two Standard Bank Pro20 international matches.

"The outing with the national men's side was very informative," Jordaan said. "It gave me a very good insight into the professional setup and the shortcomings in the women's national side and we need improvement in those areas quickly before we embark on a new challenge of the World Twenty20.

"I think we shall be able to prepare better because it is important for the players to know their roles in the team and we need to analyse the opposition better and I hope by the time the tournament comes we shall be able to put that into practice. And I had a good conversation with the support staff and everyone was helpful and prepared to spend time with me."