South Africa have infused rookies Zintle Mali, Stacy Lackay and Tazmin Brits into their limited-overs squad led by Dane van Niekerk, with an eye on the next round of ICC Women's Championship and the World T20 later this year. The 15-member squad is set to depart on a month-long tour of England in June for three championship matches and a T20 tri-series also involving New Zealand.
"We're paying a lot of attention to the 2021 World Cup preparations," national convenor of selectors Clinton Du Preez said. "The IWC program right now gives us enough time to have a look at combinations, have a look at players coming in, especially players who have just made their debuts recently. It's a great opportunity for them to blend into the squad and to also be a part of the joys of being a national player. We are confident that the England tour will see some of the most exciting cricket from this team yet."
South Africa are currently seventh after the first round of championship matches, following a 1-2 series loss to India. However, they will head into the England tour on the back of some much-needed match time, after whitewashing Bangladesh across both formats at home.
The core group group of Lizelle Lee, Mignon du Preez and Laura Woolvaardt, Marizanne Kapp, Shabnim Ismail and Chloe Tryon, all of whom featured in the 2017 Women's World Cup are all there. The only notable omission is wicketkeeper Trisha Chetty, who recently became the first women's wicketkeeper to cross 150 ODI dismissals.
"This tour of England was a great opportunity for us to take 15 players along, also to give players who have performed at provincial level an opportunity to further prove themselves in tougher conditions. Stacey Lackay put up fabulous performances at the (CSA) Women's Cricket Week, Tazmin Brits had a good season and Zintle Mali showed how perseverance can reap great rewards. We thought of the opportunity of getting them in with the intentions of planning ahead for the 2018 World T20 in West Indies, looking at one or two options who can bolster our squad.
"Having looked at the performances during the Bangladesh T20 series, there is enough for us to be happy about for the future and I think together with the core players in our team, we're looking forward confidently to putting up top performances in England against two of the top teams in world cricket. We're also placing a great focus on the preparation for the T20 World Cup because that for us is key at the moment."
South Africa squad: Lizelle Lee, Chloe Tryon, Mignon du Preez, Marizanne Kapp, Shabnim Ismail, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Raisbe Ntozakhe, Sune Luus, Laura Wolvaardt, Andrie Steyn, Zintle Mali, Stacey Lackay, Tazmin Brits