Women’s World T20: Van Niekerk raring to go against England

The Proteas get their World T20 campaign off the ground against England on Sunday.

Dane van Niekerk is in no way intimidated by the prospect of facing England in their ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 opener on Sunday.

It’s been nearly three years since the Proteas were denied a place in the Women’s Cricket World Cup Final by Heather Knight’s side.

“You have to hit the ground running in your first game and what better way to face England in the first game,” she said in her pre-match press conference.

“We know how crucial the game is and if we can get one up on them it will make our road to the semis much easier.”

Van Niekerk struggled with injuries for a long time, but she’s back in business and enjoying her game.

“It’s nice to be back up there in the order with Lizelle Lee.

“She’s been phenomenal for us up the order hopefully she can come good, she hit a century at the WACA not long ago and I asked her if she could channel that again.”

As 50-over world champions, England head into the Women’s T20 World Cup with confidence. But this is T20 and anything can happen.  With India beating Australia in the opening match, England’s Knight knows they can’t take anything for granted.

“Lisa has brought a lot in terms of how to be successful at the WACA,” she said. “They don’t actually play a lot of games under the lights there because of the time difference.

“So that’s something that will be something different that we will need to adapt to and making sure that we communicate that very clearly as a side when we’re out on the pitch and adapting to the conditions in front of us.

“In the context of the tournament any team can win it, T20 can be quite a fickle game. We aren’t too worried about what’s going on in the other group – our main job is starting well and trying to get out of these group stages.

“I think there’s match-winners in every team at T20 you only need one or two match-winners to win a game.”

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Staff Reporter