Laura Wolvaardt and Lara Goodall, the South African batters celebrate their 22nd and 25th birthday respectively today. Wolvaardt from Cape Town and Goodall from Johannesburg made their debuts in 2016. While Wolvaardt has been a constant feature in the Proteas’ side, Goodall has been in and out of the national outfit.
Since her debut, Wolvaardt, a right-hand opening bat has featured in 58 ODIs and 30 T20Is. She has registered 2150 ODI runs and 517 T20I runs, including a total of 22 half-centuries and two centuries. While Goodall, a left-hand bat, has represented South Africa in 11 T20Is and 26 ODIs and mustered 129 runs in the shortest format and 390 runs in the 50-over setting, including two half-centuries. Though she made her debut in 2016, she hardly played for South Africa. She was dropped in 2019 and made her way back into the national side only after a long break of 15 months.
Recently, when South Africa toured India, for a three-match T20I and a five-match ODI series, both Wolvaardt and Goodall had a wonderful outing. Wolvaardt (80) was involved in a match-winning partnership with Lizelle Lee in the first ODI which the visitors won by eight wickets, while Goodall (59 not out) partnered with Mignon du Preez to emerge victorious in the fourth ODI by seven wickets. This is just a glimpse of their excellence. The top-order batters, on the back of their stellar and consistent performances for South Africa, were deservingly named among the 15 Proteas’ women cricketers to have a central contract in March this year.
Wolvaardt and Goodall have been around for over five years now in the international circuit and there is seldom any doubt that the duo has gone from strength to strength. At such a young age, they have displayed great maturity and have become role models for the young girls in South Africa.
Just like the birthday girls, there are many talented girls in South Africa, who are doing good at the domestic level and are eyeing a berth on the South African side. Cricket South Africa is leaving no stone unturned to encourage more and more girls to take up the sport. The provincial leagues, the T20 leagues, among many are just a few drops in the ocean of work that is carried out by CSA. The recent success in India is evidence of the effort put by the players as well as the Board to take South African cricket to a higher level.
I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.