The South African women’s cricket team has started 2021 with an enviable momentum. Indeed, the Proteas have swept aside Pakistan during a series at home and are yet to experience that losing feeling so far this year. Whatever New Year resolution this formidable team made, they are sticking to them religiously as they rack up the wins.
It does feel like a throwback to the days of old when the men’s team would swat away any competition on home soil with the greatest of disdain. The historic cricket grounds of South Africa were once seen as an impenetrable fortress for visiting teams but that air of invincibility on the shores of the rainbow nation has long since disappeared.
They always prove that there are no boundaries to success. The Momentum Proteas bagged their first victory in their ODI series against Pakistan. The women on the pitch yesterday inspired every woman to own her success, no matter which field she walks onto. #SheOwnsHerSuccess pic.twitter.com/onUjVBrUWD
— Momentum (@Momentum_za) January 21, 2021
Indeed, a series loss to Sri Lanka in 2019 for the first time in the men’s history was the final nail in that particular coffin. The word was well and truly out that touring teams were able to enjoy never seen before returns on the field of play when they arrived to do battle.
These unwelcome changes have caused a great deal of distress within Cricket South Africa as a whole and even brought on somewhat of an identity crisis over the last few years. Few thought they would ever see the day when the men’s team were at 11/1 to win the T20 World Cup in the very latest cricket betting odds but this was very much the new reality that the Proteas had to live with.
Finding a way to bring the entire organization back together and restore the status quo on the field of play was a task that was proving almost impossible.
That was until the women’s team began leading from the front and showing the world that they shouldn’t have any preconceived ideas about winning easily in South Africa. Under the leadership of stand-in captain Sune Luus, the Proteas didn’t give an inch to Pakistan whilst making it five wins from five games in January and securing both the ODI and T20 series.
Proteas quick Shabnim Ismail deserves a special mention for the way she starred with the ball in hand. A sensational fifer was enough to clinch the T20 series and put down a marker to future touring teams.
Indeed, in the past, visiting teams could always count on being greeted with hostile fast bowling. Many would say that aggressive quick bowling was the backbone of South Africa’s success over the years and to get that fear factor back, they would need to see a return to the devastating chin music that used to haunt the night sleep of visiting players before a game. Shabnim Ismail seems to have got the memo and took matters into her own hands.
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) February 1, 2021
Ismail hit the deck hard and made life very uncomfortable for the Pakistanis on her way to picking up five wickets.
Every South African cricket fan can take great comfort in the knowledge that the women’s team is doing everything they can to restore the pride of a nation. This resounding series win shouldn’t be swept aside but rather used for the men’s team to also take inspiration from.