26 August 2014
In a first for women’s cricket in South Africa, the Momentum Proteas’ broadcast partner, SuperSport International, announced on Monday that the team’s three-match T20 series against England, starting in Chelmsford on 1 September, will be broadcast live.
The Proteas’ tour begins on Friday with two warm-up T20 matches against the England Women’s Academy in Southend-on-Sea on successive days, followed by the first T20 international.
The team learnt of the coverage of their series at a send-off function hosted by Momentum at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria on Monday.
‘A landmark achievement’
“This is certainly a landmark achievement for the Women’s game in South Africa,” said an excited Cricket South Africa (CSA) CEO Haroon Lorgat.
“Never before have we seen a South African broadcaster televise the entire series of our Momentum Women’s National team and this will help us to generate greater interest by raising the profile of Women’s Cricket.
“We had experienced the benefits of live coverage during the ICC World T20, when our women cricketers were seen live in action for the first time, and the decision by SuperSport to continue this trend will certainly benefit the sport. I want to express my heartfelt thanks to SuperSport for this decision,” he added.
“SuperSport is delighted to confirm the broadcast arrangement,” the Acting CEO of SuperSport, Brandon Foot, said at the function in Pretoria, which fell within Women’s Month.
“Our national team has made great strides recently and we trust this development reflects growing interest in the women’s game.
“Women’s sport hasn’t always been on top of the national agenda. SuperSport’s hope is that this series unearths the role models and stars we know are out there and deserve to be seen on our platforms.”
National women’s captain Mignon du Preez, commented: “This is amazing news for women’s cricket in South Africa. We are extremely excited to have television coverage of a tour for the first time and we look forward to showing the country what we’re all about and just how much talent is in this squad.
“We hope that this is just the first of many televised tours and that having South Africa finally see us play will inspire other young girls to choose cricket as their preferred sport to play.”
Women’s cricket is on an upwards trend in South Africa, with more investment being made to back it up.
Recently, thanks to the partnership with Momentum, central contracts for the Women Proteas increased from six to 14. This year’s National Academy intake also saw women’s players included for the first time.
In addition, there has been an increase in women’s clubs around the country, with the number now sitting at 79 clubs actively involved in women’s cricket.
‘A fantastic next step’
National coach Hilton Moreeng was thrilled with the news, saying: “The good news just keeps coming. It’s a fantastic next step after CSA announced the additional contracts.
“This is exactly the kind of move that is needed to catapult the profile of the national team as well as women’s cricket in South Africa. We look forward to having the country cheer for us from their couches at home and we will do our very best to make everyone proud.”
‘Growing fan base’
Momentum’s Head of External Communications and Corporate Social Investment Charlene Lackay said: “Live match coverage is fantastic news for the ladies given their growing fan base at home and increasing interest in competitive performances of national women’s teams globally.
“Live TV coverage increases the pressure, but we believe the ladies are equal to the task. Momentum has always believed in this team and has been working hard to build their profile. We’re very proud of them and want them to feel the support of the nation all the way in England.”
- Fri, 29 Aug: SA vs England Women’s Academy, Southend-on-Sea
- Sat, 30 Aug: SA vs England Women’s Academy, Southend-on-Sea
- Mon, 1 Sep: 1st T20, SA vs England, Chelmsford
- Wed, 3 Sep: 2nd T20, SA vs England, Northampton
- Sun, 7 Sep: 3rd T20, SA vs England, Birmingham
- Tue, 9 Sep: 1st T20, SA vs Ireland, Solihull
- Wed, 10 Sep: 2nd T20, SA vs Ireland, Solihull
SOUTH AFRICAN SQUAD
Mignon du Preez (capt), Trisha Chetty (vice-capt), Bernadine Bezuidenhout, Moseline Daniels, Shabnim Ismail, Marizanne Kapp, Ayabonga Khaka, Lizelle Lee, Matshipi Letsoalo, Sune Luus, Sunette Loubser, Andrie Steyn, Chloe Tryon, Dane van Niekerk