Dané van Niekerk - Momentum Proteas captain, Dané van Niekerk, says that today’s ICC Women’s T20 World Cup semi-final (10h00 CAT) means ‘everything’ to her and the squad. Unbeaten in the group stages and top of Pool B, the Proteas are playing in their second semi-final of an ICC Event.
Photo Cred: Momentum Proteas

A mixture of youth and experience in the squad, makes the Momentum Proteas a shining example of unity in diversity. They have shown South Africans what can happen when everyone works towards the same goal.

 

Perth, Australia (6 March 2020) – Momentum Proteas captain, Dané van Niekerk, says that today’s ICC Women’s T20 World Cup semi-final (10h00 CAT) means ‘everything’ to her and the squad. Unbeaten in the group stages and top of Pool B, the Proteas are playing in their second semi-final of an ICC Event.

“It would mean everything and more,” she said of winning the tournament.

“We want to show the country that we are a team to be taken seriously. We want to do it for our country and the fans back home. We know how special sporting moments are for our people and our country. That is a massive thing.”

Feeling disappointed with their performance in the 2018 tournament, the squad is determined to make every South African proud by putting their heart and soul in the game against Australia today.

“With every disappointment, there is a lesson,” the 26-year-old said honestly. 

“We learnt a lot at the last World Cup. The work that the team has put in over the past three years has been incredible, and it is starting to show.”

Van Niekerk’s (26) leadership has been the cornerstone of the squad’s success throughout the tournament. She has developed into a world-class leader, wearing her heart on her sleeve and owning the responsibility that comes with both success and disappointment on a competitive cricket stage.

“Every day when I am on the bus something comes into my head about what I want to share with the team,” she explained.

“In the last game against Pakistan, I urged everyone to play for our families. I remind the team what our purpose is for the day. Today it is about us; we have put in a lot of hard work to be in that moment.”

“It was very easy to get to the common goal because we respect each other and we respect where everyone comes from and their backgrounds,” Van Niekerk added. “There is no pressure within the side to act in a way that you are not comfortable with. We try to embrace each other as much as we possibly can, and I think it is showing.”

Regardless of the results in the remainder of the tournament, their performances have shone the spotlight on women’s cricket, and they continue to be leaders and role models for many young cricketers in South Africa. Van Niekerk believes the commitment from National Bodies and partners such as Momentum will go a long way in growing women’s sport in South Africa.

“The hype in Australia has been incredible,” she enthused.

“We know how much they love their cricket and Australia has been leading the way for women’s cricket over the last couple of years. The initiative to fill up the MCG on International Women’s Day is incredible, never in my lifetime did I think I would be part of a tournament that achieves that. It only shows where the game is going and where Women’s sport, in general, is going. I think it’s going to set a massive example for all sporting codes across the world when the MCG is filled. We have a lot of support back home from Cricket South Africa and Momentum, and I am excited about where the game is headed.”

Momentum Proteas captain, Dané van Niekerk, says that today’s ICC Women’s T20 World Cup semi-final (10h00 CAT) means ‘everything’ to her and the squad. Unbeaten in the group stages and top of Pool B, the Proteas are playing in their second semi-final of an ICC Event.
Photo Cred: Momentum Proteas

Sources: Momentum Proteas | Dané van Niekerk
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