Cape Town – Proteas Women’s captain Sune Luus has come a long way from the days when she had to join fellow Proteas men’s star Rassie van der Dussen’s boys school team just to get a game of cricket.
Now the 26-year-old now believes that next year’s Women’s T20 Cup will propel the women’s game to unprecedented heights in South Africa.
Luus and Van der Dussen both attended Menlo High School in Pretoria, and yesterday they shared the stage at the launch of the Women’s T20 Cup that will get underway at Newlands on February 10.
It really will be a bumper 2023 summer of women’s cricket in Mzansi with the T20 Cup superseded by the inaugural Under-19 Women’s Cup. The senior tournament will played at the three coastal venues of Newlands, Boland Park and St George’s Park, while the youth event will be staged at Senwes Park and Willowmoore Park.
Luus believes this high-level exposure for the women’s game will prove to be an inspiration for generations of South African girls.
“The U19 Cup, and the Women’s T20 Cup that follows, is something the younger generation can look at, and say that’s something I want to be a part of,” Luus said.
“That’s a big push that we need. It is very exciting, and having it at home is even more exciting.”
The Proteas are in Group 1, alongside defending champions Australia, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and Bangladesh. South Africa face Sri Lanka in the much-anticipated tournament opener at Newlands.
Former champions England (2009) and West Indies (2016), along with Pakistan and Ireland complete Group 2.
“I know it’s still a long way to go, but I am starting to get nervous already,” Luus admitted.
“As a host nation, there is going to be that added pressure, but South African cricket, and particularly women’s cricket, has come a long way. I think we showed at the last Cup in Australia that we should’ve been in that final.
“We are very excited for that opening game, and hopefully we have a packed Newlands and everybody can sing our national songs and experience playing with a full stadium, which has never been done before in South Africa.”
Luus was part of the Proteas team that came within five runs of defeating Australia in an epic semi-final at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 2020.
The Australians went on to defeat India in the final in front of a record 86 174 spectators at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on International Women’s Day.
* Tickets for the tournament have been priced at R60 and there will be further discounts for pensioners.