South Africa name Wolvaardt as women team's interim captain

She has been appointed for just under two months for now, for the series against Pakistan and New Zealand

Firdose Moonda
Firdose Moonda
Laura Wolvaardt fifty kept South Africa in chase after quick wickets, South Africa vs Australia, Women's T20 World Cup, Final, Cape Town, February 26, 2023

Laura Wolvaardt will succeed Sune Luus  •  ICC via Getty Images

Opening batter Laura Wolvaardt has been named interim captain of the South Africa women's team for their next two assignments. Wolvaardt will take charge of the team for three T20Is and as many ODIs in Pakistan, and three ODIs and five T20Is against New Zealand at home before her position is reviewed. The series against New Zealand ends on October 15.
The ODIs all form part of the ICC Women's Championship, which is the qualification pathway to the 2025 World Cup.
Wolvaardt's appointment comes barely a week after Sune Luus stepped down from the post, after leading South Africa to their first senior World Cup final at the T20 tournament in February. A CSA spokesperson said Luus made the decision to "focus on her cricket", but ESPNcricinfo understands she is among a group of players who are unhappy with Hilton Moreeng continuing as national coach after more than a decade in charge. The players sent a letter to the board outlining their grievances and desire for a change in ideas but Moreeng will remain in the role till the end of 2023.
Vice-captain Chloe Tryon was not available to take over from Luus, as she requested a leave of absence for the Pakistan series, leaving CSA to choose between Wolvaardt, Marizanne Kapp and Nadine de Klerk as an interim captain. Neither Kapp nor de Klerk have led before. Wolvaardt, who has done the job twice in ODIs against India in 2021, was selected. Although she previously told the media that captaincy was not an immediate goal, she has embraced the opportunity.
"It's a massive honour to be offered this position as captain for the next two tours," Wolvaardt said in a CSA statement. "It's something that I have always aspired to do, having played in this team for a couple of years. Having more of a leadership role is something I've wanted to take on. It will help me as a cricketer, and learning to think as a captain on the field will hopefully help my batting as well. It is very new to me but I am keen to learn and do everything that I can to do well in the position. I am lucky that I have a couple of senior players within the squad around me as well, who would be able to help me and guide me if I do need help along the way."
Wolvaardt will meet up with the South African squad in Pakistan, having just finished her stint with Manchester Originals in Women's Hundred. She was their leading run-scorer with 147 runs in six matches. She has also gained experience at the FairBreak Invitational Tournament and WPL, and is one of only two South Africans to have played exhibition T20 matches in Pakistan earlier this year. Luus was the other player involved in those games in Pakistan; she replaced Wolvaardt when the latter was selected for the WPL as Beth Mooney's injury replacement.
The appointment of an interim captain comes at a time of significant change for women's cricket in South Africa. Earlier this week, CSA announced equal match fees for men's and women's internationals and professionalised the top tier of the women's domestic competition. A head of women's cricket is expected to be appointed later in the year and a new coach early next year, which will coincide with the confirmation of a permanent captain. South Africa visit Australia for an all-format tour including a Test match in early 2024.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent for South Africa and women's cricket