The first-ever ICC Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup event, that’ll be played in South Africa, is now only a few sleeps away. In the lead-up to the event, Australian senior women’s team vice-captain, Alyssa Healy and South African senior women’s team skipper, Sune Luus lauded the ICC’s effort in getting started with one such tournament.
The inaugural edition of the tournament will be played from the 14th to the 30th of January at Willowmoore Park, JB Marks Oval, and NW University Oval at Benoni and Potchefstroom in South Africa. Across the 15 days, as many as 16 teams will valiantly complete over a good number of 41 games.
Australian vice-captain, Alyssa Healy who played crucial roles in Australia’s successive T20 World Cup triumphs in 2018 and 2020, on the inception of one such tournament for junior girls, said, “I think it’s a fantastic initiative to see the next generation of international cricketers getting an opportunity to play a global event like a World Cup over in South Africa. It’s a great opportunity for young players.”
“We’ve seen the women’s game grow dramatically in certain parts of the world at the top level but what’s happening underneath the national teams is equally as important. This event will showcase each country’s next generation and show the importance of adequate support and investment at the lower levels to ensure success at that top level for years to come.”
Alyssa Healy who registered 2300 runs in 118 innings, including the highest score of 148*, was given the honorary role of capping the junior girls shortly before they boarded their flight to South Africa for the U-19 World Cup. Wishing the team good luck, Alyssa Healy, said, “Good luck girls! Australia has an incredibly proud history of success in World Cups and hopefully, that flows through to you girls as well.
“I’ve been privileged to be able to watch you all grow and develop as cricketers over the last few years through the WBBL and WNCL tournaments. I’m confident we’ve got a great chance of bringing home the trophy – but more importantly, I hope you enjoy the experience of wearing the Aussie colours on the big stage. Look after one another and enjoy the opportunity!”
South African skipper, Sune Luus, said, “It is a massive couple of months for South Africa, and it will be a boost for our women’s cricket and our cricket overall. Everyone is excited, and the whole country is buzzing! We can’t wait. It is so important for young girls to get a taste of what it’s like to be on a world stage, this could be the push that has so many participating players make the final choice to pursue cricket as a career.”
“This tournament is also a big stepping stone for a lot of young girls who want to make it into their senior sides. A tournament like this is a crucial advertisement for the women’s game, especially in South Africa where we are still building depth.”
Sune Luus wishing well for the South African junior team, said, “It is so important to still have fun. This is a big stage, but it is still a cricket match. You must still have fun. Express yourselves, and remember you are all there because you have the talent and you deserve your place in the team. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most of you, so enjoy it!”
(Quotes sourced from ICC Media Release)