Sunette Loubser has replaced Cri-Zelda Brits as South Africa women's captain for the World Cup scheduled for March in Australia. Denise Reid, the convenor of selectors, said Loubser was handed the reins in order to give Brits a chance to "concentrate entirely on her own performance". The vice-captaincy has also been taken away from Claire Terblanche and given to Alicia Smith.
Brits averaged 32.07 and scored one century and three half-centuries in the 16 ODIs in which she captained South Africa between January 2007 and August 2008. South Africa won 11 of those ODIs, but none against major opposition.
"She [Brits] is a vital part of the team, and we require her undivided attention at the role assigned to her," Reid said. "We have in Sunette Loubser, who has been captaining Boland successfully for the last five or more years, a suitable and capable replacement."
Opening batsmen Yolandi van der Westhuizen and Kirsty Thompson, and spinner Dane van Niekerk have earned their first call-ups to the national side.
Annelie Minny, Dinesha Devnarain, Daleen Terblanche and Olivia Anderson, who were part of the tour to England last year, did not make the cut. "Dinesha Devnarain, Olivia Anderson and in particular Daleen Terblanche, the most experienced player for SA, are among those who can count themselves extremely unlucky for missing out on a spot," Reid said. "We've selected in-form players who have had consistent performances this season."
Former captain Alison Hodgkinson, who was part of the probables despite not having played international cricket for three years, was not included in the final squad.
Reid said preparations were underway before the team's departure to Australia. "I have full confidence in the squad. We will seriously be contesting the World Cup, and are out to become a reckoning force in women's cricket."
South Africa women: Sunette Loubser, Alicia Smith, Susan Benade, Cri-Zelda Brits, Trisha Chetty, Mignon du Preez, Shandre Fritz, Shibnam Ismail, Ashlyn Kilowan, Marcia Letsoalo, Kirsty Thompson, Charlize van der Westhuizen, Yolandi van der Westhuizen, Dane van Niekerk, Claire Terblanche