Moreeng on Women’s Cricket World Cup: ‘Great opportunity for players’

The Proteas women are primed and ready to kick off their ICC Women’s World Cup campaign as they take on Bangladesh in their first game of the tournament on Saturday morning (match starts at 12 noon).

The team managed to play two warm-up matches in Christchurch on Sunday and Wednesday before heading to Dunedin on Thursday to kick off their World Cup challenge.

Although the team struggled in the two warm-up games – they were flanked by two runs by India, before going down by six wickets against defending champions England – Coach Hilton Moreeng was very happy with the timeout in the middle.

“The biggest challenge for us was getting everyone out of MIQ (quarantine) and making sure everyone was fit and ready to go,” explains Moreeng.

“So the build-up has been good and we’ve already been through some very challenging conditions. The players really needed time in the middle so we’re glad we had these two opportunities to rotate the squad and give everyone a chance.

“I think the most important thing about these warm-up games is the acclimation to the conditions, to get our bowlers to start hitting their stride and get into their rhythm and for the batters to get a feel in the middle , and I think we’ve got all that.”

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The team is now ready to pick a side they haven’t seen in recent times, so they’ll have to be on their best to make sure they aren’t taken by surprise by a team widely expected to beat.

“Bangladesh is normally a team that is proud of their spinners. It’s a team that’s always getting better and although we haven’t played against them (lately), it’s a team we’re keeping an eye on,” Moreeng admitted.

“So as a team we are very happy with what we have seen so far and we know it will be a challenging first game.

“We have some World Cup debutants, so it will be guts to represent your country on the biggest stage. But it’s a great opportunity for the players to show what they can do. So everyone is looking forward to the game against Bangladesh And they can’t wait to get started.”

After their opening match, the Proteas will move on to play against Pakistan, England, New Zealand, Australia, the West Indies and India with the top four teams from the round robin stage advancing to the semi-finals.

“With the World Cup and the way it’s structured if you play cricket well, you give yourself a good chance to make it to the knockout stage,” said Moreeng.

“We will approach each match individually. Different teams have different styles of play and pose different threats to us, so we just have to make sure we’re prepared as best we can.”

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