On the 23rd of October 2018, I joined in the festivities when Cricket South Africa (CSA) pulled out all the stops to host a send-off never to be forgotten, for the Protea Women’s Cricket Team prior to them heading off to the West Indies. Captain, Dane van Niekerk and her team are all set to take on the Women’s World T20 tournament this month.
The street outside CSA was lined with media and excited young ladies who waved South African flags as they awaited the arrival of the Protea Women’s Team. As the team bus came to a stop outside CSA, one could not help but feel Proud to be a South African and especially proud to be a female. It was evident that the send-off was a well-kept secret as the overwhelmed players disembarked the bus and made their way into the building.
A National Sporting Team without a Title Sponsor
As the formalities got under way, it was mentioned that the Protea Women’s Team doesn’t have a title sponsor. How, in the 21st century does a team of professional players, representing their country at the highest level in a sport (that has traditionally been male dominated) not have a title sponsor? Absolutely unbelievable if you ask me, but hopefully it’s just a matter of timing. The average age of the team is a super young 22 years old. The youngest is Laura Wolvaardt who turned 19 in April and the oldest is Shabnim Ismail who has just turned 30.
These young ladies are proudly South African, unbelievably talented and continue to do their country proud. The associated hashtags, #AlwaysRising and #WeAreMore embodies the true essence of the Protea Women’s Team who give their very best with or without a title sponsor.
Chat Time with the Protea Women’s Team
I had the absolute honour and pleasure of getting to know the Protea Women’s Team when I interviewed some of them at their send-off. They are a fantastic bunch and the love and admiration they have for each other is extremely evident. I must admit their playfulness during their downtime is heartwarming and refreshing, but shouldn’t be mistaken for their commitment to the game of cricket. They ooze passion for cricket and their enthusiasm for the game is contagious. Below is my interview with some of the players, including Vice Captain Chloe Tryon.
My Message to SA Brands
To the incredible brands out there, “What are you waiting for??” The opportunity to be the title sponsor for the Protea Women’s Team is something you should be jumping at. Time is seriously limited as these ladies are pumped and ready to take over the cricket world. It is just a matter of time before they are snatched up. Plus they do plan to bring home the Women’s World T20 tournament trophy.
World T20 Kicks-off
This coming weekend sees the official start of the Women’s World T20 tournament, so make sure you don’t miss a game.
Proteas Women WT20 schedule:
- Monday, November 12 – SA v Sri Lanka
- Wednesday, November 14 – SA v West Indies
- Friday, November 16 – SA v England
- Sunday, November 18 – SA v Qualifier 1
To the Protea Women’s Team … we are 100% behind you ladies, so go kick ass and bring back the trophy like only you can.