Historic Pakistan tour excites new South Africa skipper Laura Wolvaardt

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 Interim South Africa captain Laura Wolvaardt is looking forward to leading her side into action for the first time when they take on Pakistan in a three-match T20I series in Karachi.

Wolvaardt was only announced as Sune Luus replacement as interim captain last week and the classy top-order batter is keen to get her reign underway with a series triumph over Pakistan.

It is the first time that South Africa’s women’s side has ever toured Pakistan and Wolvaardt said all her teammates were extremely excited about the prospect of playing in the Asian country, an ICC

report said.

“It is very exciting to be here,” Wolvaardt said ahead of the opening match of the series on Friday.

“It is an incredible journey to be here for the first historic tour to Pakistan and I think everyone is excited,” she said.

“We have had a couple of good training sessions here, we are looking forward to seeing how the pitch will play as it is new for all of us in the group,” Wolvaardt said.

Wolvaardt has been a mainstay in South Africa’s side for many years now and the 24-year-old was an obvious choice to take the captaincy reins when Luus decided she was stepping down from the role just months after leading the Proteas to a first ICC final at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup on home soil at the start of the year.

Wolvaardt revealed she has talked with Luus about what to expect in the role and had also sought advice from a host of former captains and coaches that had previously helped her rise to the top.

“I have had chats with both (former South Africa captains) Sune (Luus) and Dane (van Niekerk) and just chatted about the opportunity and the experience,” Wolvaardt said.

“Captains that I have looked up to from other countries would be Meg Lanning and Heather Knight as I like how calm they are going about cricket and they never look fazed on the field,” she said.

“It has been a mixture of talking to people, even people who weren’t captains, like past coaches that I have had just to get as much advice as I can,” Wolvaardt said.

“Everyone goes about it in a different way so most of the advice I have gotten has been to be true to who I am and do it my own way,” she said.

Pakistan will also be led by a new captain during the series, with Nida Dar now in charge of the Asian side following the resignation of Bismah Maroof earlier in the year.

Wolvaardt is expecting a tough battle against Pakistan and is confident her side have enough quality to blunt the dangerous hosts.

“It’s our first-ever tour to Pakistan, so the training sessions ahead of the T20I series will be very important to help us understand the conditions here,” she said.

“This is going to be a big series, a closely contested one. Pakistan is a very competitive side, and Nida is a very good captain,” Wolvaardt said.

“They have very talented young players on their side, so we are up for a very good series,” she added.

South Africa squad: Laura Wolvaardt (c), Anneke Bosch, Tazmin Brits, Nadine de Klerk, Mieke de Ridder, Lara Goodall, Sinalo Jafta, Marizanne Kapp, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Suné Luus, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Tumi Sekhukhune, Nondumiso Shangase, Delmi Tucker.

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