3 new faces for South Africa tour of Windies. © Getty Images

Cricket South Africa have announced the squad for the upcoming series against West Indies. They will tour to the Caribbean for three ODIs and five T20Is from September 10 to October 6, 2018. Three ODIs will be a part of the ICC Women’s Championship (2017-20).

Three uncapped players have got their maiden call-up in the squad. They are Tumi Sekhukhune, Saarah Smith and Robyn Searle. The trio were selected after their good performance in the three days North-v-South T20 competition in Pretoria.

Wicketkeeper-batter Trisha Chetty, who missed the England series has returned to the squad while Ayabonga Khaka has been ruled out due to the shoulder injury. Andrie Steyn, Stacey Lackay and Tazmin Brits, who were part of the England series, are not included in the upcoming series.

South Africa recently faced a huge disappointment in the recently concluded England series and the T20 Tri-series which included New Zealand. This series will certainly help them to get back in the form prior to the World Cup.

Clinton du Preez, National Convenor of Selectors is pleased with the selection. He recently addressed in the media, “As a selection panel, we conducted a debrief from the England tour and also the successful Bangladesh tour prior to that. We discovered that there were a few areas where the team were falling short and we realized we had to look at different options and different types of skill-sets to try and set ourselves up well for the West Indies tour with the World Cup not far behind after that.”

He further added, “It was quite a nice challenge that we faced when it came to making that final decision. We conducted the North vs South tournament which gave us an extra indication as to which players we could look at in our search for those extra skill-sets. It was a great exercise, we picked up a few players that have shown a lot of intent and potential, this is a really good opportunity for them to showcase their talent in the West Indies tour.”

“Robyn Searle came and played something out of the ordinary during the North vs South tournament, she had a really good time at the national academy and she’s played some great knocks which has put her in good stead as she’s challenged for a place in the national team. Saarah Smith has come on board and shown a lot of intent in the national academy as well. She’s really pushed for her place and we’re looking forward to seeing what she’ll bring to the national side. Tumi (Sekhukhune) has used the opportunities that she has received in her two seasons at the national academy and shown tremendous growth and maturity in a short period of time and we’re interested to see how she will take to this new challenge in the national team.”

Keeping an eye on the ICC T20 World Cup, du Preez said, “We have always got very high hopes with every tour that comes along, especially with this West Indies tour coming along so close to the World T20. We have not settled on our final World Cup squad yet, we’re still looking at one or two other combinations.”

However, they are giving equal attention to the ODI series too as it will help them to qualify for the 2021 World Cup. “We can’t lose focus on the IWC because that allows for qualification into the World Cup 2021, so we need to make sure we are still giving ODI cricket the attention it deserves,” du Preez commented.

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Squad:

Dane van Niekerk (c), Chloe Tryon, Trisha Chetty, Lizelle Lee, Marizanne Kapp, Sune Luus, Laura Wolvaardt, Mignon du Preez, Raisibe Ntozakhe, Shabnim Ismail, Zintle Mali, Masabata Klaas, Robyn Searle, Tumi Sekhukhune, Saarah Smith.

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