In heels, Mignon du Preez broke through the glass ceiling of the cricket. In a way.
“When people hear the word “cricketer,” they assume you have to be rather masculine. They do not think you can be a girly cricketer. They think that you can not possibly catch a ball if you get your nails done. I was trying to show that you can be a girly girl and still be competitive,” she claims. “There was definitely a time when people thought cricket was just for boys.”
Du Preez was one of the “Iconic Women” who recently participated in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Trophy Tour. She is now retired and hopes to start a family after playing international cricket for more than 15 years and witnessing the transition of South African women’s cricket from amateur to professional. And Mignon du Preezdid it all with long blonde hair.
“We had to change people’s perception,” she says. “There was a lack of visibility. Nobody knew about us. Our games were not televised, and girls’ cricket was not a popular sport in schools. The hardest part was convincing girls to participate in the sport
There was no girls’ team at her elementary school, so like many of the first female cricketers, she played with boys. “There was one parent who complained because there was a girl [du Preez] on the team and her son was not playing, and I remember the coaches saying, ‘But she’s better than him,'” she recalls.
Du Preez was only 12 when Mignon du Preez scored 258 in a 40-over match and “kind of realised that cricket could be a career choice.”
Five years later, she made her international debut. “It was during the vacations, and one of the players got injured, and I was called up,” she explains.
South Africa’s national team matches were televised for the first time in seven years of their career. SuperSport broadcast the three-match T20I series between South Africa and England in September 2014. That same year, du Preez’s team had advanced to the semifinals of the T20 World Cup. Interest from broadcasters was the reward for a good campaign, but they were unable to repay the faith straight away. South Africa were completely outclassed in their first two games in England and lost the third as well, although they put up a better fight.
Du Preez was halfway through her captaincy at the time, a role she was thrust into almost by accident at the age of 22 when the regular captain was injured. “I was a very young captain and felt like I was thrown in at the deep end and didn’t really know much,” Mignon du Preez explains. “On the first few tours, I almost needed a script to know who was bowling when and where.
“But I thought I was really good at dealing with people. I had an open-door policy and was committed to getting the best out of the players. We weren’t professionals, so we just tried to change the perception
That same year, du Preez played her first and only Test match, scoring a century that she considers one of the highlights of her career, though not for the reasons you might think.
“It was really special, but also quite a challenging experience,” she said. “The thing I remember most was getting out in the second innings,” she says. “Because I had played so well in the first innings, I was hoping I could pick up where I left off. Poonam Yadav was bowling to me, and I had my mind set on hitting her with my feet when she threw the ball up. But she’s also a leg-spinner, so if she threw it to leg, a sweep was a good option. She ended up throwing it up and down her leg, and I double-stepped and missed it completely, so I was up. It wasn’t a normal test match strike. These days, with so much innovative cricket being played, you can get away with it, but it wasn’t the typical drop you see in a Test match.”
For most South Africans, the game would have gone unnoticed. The women’s team only became a major talking point in national cricket in 2017, when du Preez stepped down as captain but played her 100th ODI and South Africa reached the semifinals of the 50-over World Cup. “From that point on, people took notice and our players became role models,” he said. “That was the point where the big change happened,” Mignon du Preez explained.
South Africa will be in the spotlight for women’s sports in 2023. The country hosted the inaugural U19 Women’s T20 World Cup last month and the Senior World Cup this month. In July/August, the country will host the Netball World Cup, and the women’s football team will compete in its second consecutive World Cup – an incredible feat considering the men have not qualified for the event in 20 years (they automatically qualified as hosts in 2010).
Du Preez no longer plays for South Africa, but is still an avid observer on the sidelines and an athlete through and through. She was also in the nets on the day of this interview.
“It’s almost like riding a bike, but it’s not always like that,” she says. “The last time I did not play for a while, I had trouble with timing because I was so intent on getting the bat to the ball that I was too early on every shot. But I think today I was much more relaxed. I think that comes with age. You are allowed to make mistakes in practice, and I made fewer than I expected.”
Du Preez, like many other cricketers, has signed up for the WPL auction, where she hopes to land a contract that will change her life. While Mignon du Preez is aware that the growth of the leagues could pose a threat to the international game, no one will blame her for wanting to make money after spending so much of her career in the amateur game. “These leagues pay their players really well, but at the end of the day you want the best players to be available for the national team, and to do that you have to pay them well enough so they want to play for their country,” she says.
That’s essentially the reason for her own resignation as well. Du Preez was unable to keep her central contract after she pulled out of ODI cricket last April because the CSA does not offer contracts that cover only one format. Needing to pay her bills, she decided to retire and seek opportunities in franchise leagues.
She will not make a national comeback at the World Cup, but she will participate in the tournament as a commentator. However, she will be rooting for South Africa. “If I think with my heart, I think they are going to win,” she says. “But realistically, Australia has dominated women’s cricket in recent years, and they are just so far ahead. They have a lot of talent to choose from. We in South Africa do not have such a big pool. But I am looking forward to seeing some other teams. England has also invested a lot, and India has been very good recently, and it would be very good if they do well, because if India does well, women’s cricket does well.”
Du Preez is interested in closing the gap between the top teams and the rest. She participated in the inaugural Fairbreak T20 tournament in the United Arab Emirates last year and has since served as a marketing consultant for the organization. She believes competitions like this help level the playing field.
“Fairbreak offers players from associated countries the opportunity to earn a living from cricket. They get their first professional contract and get to play with their idols. From Stafanie Taylor and Sophie Devine to Marizanne Kapp and Ayabonga Khaka, we have had all the big names involved,” she says.
And while events like Fairbreak are competitive, it’s less about which team wins or loses and more about the people who benefit. “The camaraderie has made this tournament even more memorable. When you go to a World Cup, WBBL or Hundred, the atmosphere is electric and the competition fierce. At this tournament, the sport just brought everyone together. It was amazing to see how the players interacted with each other, how the full members shared their knowledge with the associate players and how everyone cheered them on. Everyone was cheering for Wini [Malaysia captain Winifred Duraisingam]. It’s growing and will provide more opportunities.”
Henriette Ishimwe, a then 18-year-old Rwandan player, took four wickets in four balls at the U-19 World Cup to lead Rwanda to a historic first win at a major tournament. Ishimwe had fans from her time at Fairbreak long before Mignon du Preez accomplished that feat. “My husband wanted me to speak to Henriette because he wanted her jersey,” du Preez explains.
Du Preez and her husband, Tony, broke another glass ceiling in the process. Female athletes have only recently become role models, especially in team sports, and du Preez believes that trend will continue as perceptions change. “I was on the commentary team for the U-19 Women’s T20 World Cup, and I looked at the biographies of the players and realised that so many of the girls had female role models, and I thought: Wow, we did something right. Finally.”
KL Rahul’s Fitness Update: Asia Cup Anticipation
Indian cricket player KL Rahul doing exercise
Get the latest KL Rahul Fitness Update as the Asia Cup draws near. With the tournament on the horizon, all eyes are on KL Rahul and his efforts to enhance his physical condition. This anticipation adds an extra layer of excitement to the upcoming Asia Cup, as fans eagerly await his progress and contributions on the field.
Unveiling the Remarkable Strides
“KL’s journey within our conditioning camp has yielded remarkable strides,” Dravid affirmed during an engaging conversation in Alur on a Tuesday. He further elaborated on Rahul’s intensive training regimen, highlighting the significant advancements achieved in alignment with the team’s envisioned trajectory. However, it’s important to underscore that Rahul’s participation will be limited to the earlier part of the tour, excluding the segment taking place in Kandy.
Amid this cricketing expedition, the responsibility of overseeing Rahul’s well-being in the upcoming days rests firmly on the shoulders of the National Cricket Academy (NCA). A comprehensive reassessment of his physical state is scheduled for September 4—a critical juncture that will shape the course of action moving forward. Encouragingly, Rahul’s journey so far is indicative of a promising future, marked by substantial progress and commendable breakthroughs.
Navigating Injury Setbacks and Selection Strategy
The meticulous composition of the Asia Cup team on August 21 took into careful consideration KL Rahul’s state of health. Ajit Agarkar, the discerning chairman of selectors, disclosed that Rahul had encountered a “minor niggle” after a complete recovery from a thigh injury sustained during the IPL 2023 season. While the medical team at the NCA expressed contentment with Rahul’s batting workload, concerns surfaced regarding his wicketkeeping prowess, particularly after he expressed fatigue following practice games.
Mastering the Art of Batting: Rahul’s Regimen
Intriguingly, Rahul’s batting prowess has showcased resilience during his practice sessions at the Alur nets. On the final day of India’s intensive six-day training camp, Rahul dedicated nearly 35 minutes to the crease, confronting an array of bowlers encompassing both pace and spin. While he refrained from partaking in bowling drills, his immersive practice was apparent.
Rahul’s training routine unveiled a multifaceted approach, with a special emphasis on handling spin bowling. Positioned as the No. 5 batsman, he skillfully employed footwork to counter leg spin, demonstrating meticulous shot selection. Moreover, his adaptability shone through as he engaged in full-blooded sweeps against the spin duo of R Sai Kishore and Manav Suthar, both known for their left-arm spin expertise.
Starting to feel like me again 🏃♂️🏟️ pic.twitter.com/8cECI7oRDZ— K L Rahul (@klrahul) July 11, 2023
Strategizing for Excellence
As Rahul’s training regimen progressed, he navigated to the second net—a space dedicated to facing the new ball delivered by the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Prasidh Krishna. His unwavering attention was directed towards aligning his stance with the bounce, honing his ability to play straight, and judiciously utilizing pace to manipulate the trajectory of the ball. A post-session interaction with Coach Dravid and Virat Kohli underscored Rahul’s commitment to refining his skills.
Balancing Act: Skill Development and Preservation
Despite his fervent dedication, Rahul’s training routine has been carefully curated to prevent undue physical strain. The team management, vigilant about his well-being, has ensured that his wicketkeeping drills strike the right balance between intensity and preservation. His sessions, particularly those focused on lateral movement and spin, are calibrated to foster growth without compromising his physical resilience.
Rahul’s proactive participation extended to meaningful interactions with fellow cricketer Rishabh Pant. The duo shared insights and engaged in rehab and fitness drills alongside the team, underscoring the collaborative spirit within the Indian cricket fraternity.
A Glimpse of Squad Dynamics
As the cricketing spectacle approaches, India’s Asia Cup contingent boasts the presence of wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan. Additionally, Sanju Samson has been designated as the team’s travelling substitute, poised to step in when needed.
In Conclusion: The Path Ahead
In conclusion, KL Rahul fitness update and contribute significantly to the upcoming stages of the Asia Cup resonates as a central narrative. His ongoing progress, meticulously overseen by the NCA physiotherapy team, holds the promise of an impactful return to the field. The cricketing community eagerly anticipates his presence in the Super 4s phase, envisioning his role as a cornerstone in India’s pursuit of glory.
Ashwin’s Insight : Cricket’s Middle-Order Revolution
Ashwin doesn’t think India has a problem at No.4 or No.5 now that Dhoni and Yuvraj have left the team. He said that there is no question about India’s opening order.
India’s middle-order in ODIs is always a topic of discussion. When they lost in the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup, a big reason was that they didn’t have a good No. 4. Since Yuvraj Singh’s last ODI on June 30, 2017, India has tried more than 10 players in that position, but captain Rohit Sharma says they still haven’t found the right fit. The No. 5 spot is just the same. Even though the way teams think about batting in ODIs is changing quickly, flexible batting line-ups are now the rule. However, not having a bankable middle order has hurt many times. In the last couple of years, however, Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul seem to have helped India find the right mix.
Ravichandran Ashwin says that if both Iyer and Rahul are ready to play, there should be no question about India’s No. 4 and No. 5 in the Asia Cup and World Cup. He is correct. Rahul and Iyer have the best numbers of any middle-order openers India has tried since the 2019 World Cup.
Ashwin even said that Rahul, who has scored 742 runs at a remarkable average of 53 and a striking strike rate of 99.33 since taking on the new role of keeping wickets and batting at No.5, has filled the middle-order spot with “expertise” since MS Dhoni and Yuvraj retired.
“India had been looking for a candidate for Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni since they left the team. Rahul has done a good job in that role. He will always bat at No. 5 and keep wickets for us,” Ashwin wrote on his YouTube account.
Ashwin, who didn’t make it to the Asia Cup, praised Rahul for taking over as keeper-batsman after Rishabh Pant got hurt.
“Before Pant got hurt, Rahul was next in line. Now that Pant is out, Ishan Kishan is the second goal, and he has jumped at the chance. Rahul has a minor injury, but he should be fine for the first game. If he isn’t, we have a travelling team of 18 people in Sanju Samson,” Ashwin said.
“India’s No.4 should not be up for debate”: Ashwin
Shreyas Iyer is similar. Iyer got 805 runs before he hurt his back again and again. His average was 47.35, and his strike rate was 94.37. The Mumbai right-hander’s ability to hit big shots against all types of spinners makes him an ideal No.4 in subcontinent conditions. He also has a double game. Iyer has shown that he can handle the pressure if a couple of wickets fall early and then use it to his advantage. If he comes in to bat after a good start, he can beat the spinners right away.
“Shreyas Iyer is just as important to this team as KL Rahul. He is a steady No.4 for India and one of their best players against spin. Whenever he has played at 4, he has been a key part of their success. “If he is fully fit to play, there shouldn’t be any debate about the No. 4 spot,” Ashwin said on his YouTube account when talking about India’s Asia Cup team.
Ajit Agarkar, the head of selectors for the BCCI, put to rest any doubts about Iyer’s health. He also said that Rahul has a new injury and might not play in India’s Asia Cup opener against Pakistan. Rahul and Iyer’s good health will be the most important thing for India in the Asia Cup and World Cup, not where they play in the XI. Ashwin has said that if Rahul and Iyer are both healthy, they will play at No. 4 and No. 5 respectively.
Asia Cup 2023:India’s Squad,Contenders & Captaincy
India’s 2023 Asia Cup Squad
September marks the start of the next Asia Cup competition. The Asian Cricket Council oversees this prestigious competition. There had been talk of Pakistan hosting the competition, but now it appears that plans have changed. When the ACC announces the final host and schedule, that will be it. There will be 13 games played in this major competition, according to the data.
Many cricket followers can’t wait for this massive ACC-run competition. Cricket fans in India are eager to learn about their team’s Asia Cup 2023 roster. The team for the forthcoming competition has not been announced as of yet.
Nonetheless, the following players will likely be included in the Indian squad for the upcoming Asia Cup 2023: KL Rahul, Venkatesh Iyer, Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma, Yuzvendra Chahal, Suryakumar Yadav, Virat Kohli, Ishan Kishan, Arshdeep Singh, Ruturaj Gaikwad, etc.
List of 2023 Asia Cup Participants
Six teams will compete in the 2023 Asia Cup, according to reports. There will be one-day matches in this competition. Sri Lanka won this prestigious competition in 2022 and is the current holder of the title.
The roster of participating players in the Asia Cup will be made public shortly.
1. Indian Squad: KL Rahul, Ravichandran Ashwin, Suryakumar Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Rishabh Pant, Axar Patel, Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Hardik Pandya, Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Kuldeep Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, etc. The exact roster will be described in greater depth in the near future.
2. Pakistan Squad: Fakhar Zaman, Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usman Qadir, Babar Azam, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Rizwan, Khushdil Shah, Naseem Shah, Iftikhar Ahmed, etc. are all members of the Pakistan Squad. The exact roster will be described in greater depth in the near future.
3.Bangladesh Squad: Mohammad Saifuddin, Ebadot Hossain, Shakib Al Hasan, Nasum Ahmed, Parvez Hossain Emon, Anamul Haque, Mahedi Hasan, Mehidy Hasan, Soumya Sarkar, Mahmudullah, Mohammad Naim, Mushfiqur Rahim, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Sabbir Rahman, Afif Hossain, etc. The exact roster will be described in greater depth in the near future.
4.Afghanistan Squad : Hazratullah Zazai, Mohammad Nabi, Fareed Ahmad, Usman Ghani, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Noor Ahmad, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Karim Janat, Rashid Khan, Azmatullah Omarzai, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Samiullah Shinwari, Najibullah Zadran, Naveen-ul-Haq, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Ibrahim, Zadran, Afsar Zazai. Soon, we shall get more specifics about the actual team.
5.Sri Lanka Squad : Asitha Fernando, Nuwanidu Fernando, Danushka Gunathilaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Ashen Bandara, Praveen Jayawickrama, Chamika Karunaratne, Pramod Madushan, Dilshan, Madushanka, Kusal Mendis, Pathum Nissanka, Matheesha Pathirana, Dasun Shanaka, Mahesh Theekshana, Nuwan Thushara, Jeffrey Vandersay, etc. The exact roster will be described in greater depth in the near future.
6.Nepal Squad : Aarif Sheikh and Aasif Sheikh, Dipendra Singh Airee and Sompal Kami and Lalit Rajbanshi and Sandeep Lamichhane and Karna KC and Gulsan Jha and Rohit Paudel and Bhim Sharki and so on. The exact roster will be described in greater depth in the near future.
Schedule for the 2023 Asia Cup
The ACC will soon announce the dates of the upcoming matches. In September, you may watch this fascinating and important competition. Hong Kong qualified for the Asia Cup in the previous tournament. Nepal, however, beat out the United Arab Emirates in the ACC Men’s Premier Cup to earn entry to this year’s tournament.
To see how well this young team does in such a major competition would be thrilling. This tournament features a lot of big names and big players. The 2019 Asia Cup will include 13 total games between the six participating teams (split into two groups). They’ll be competing for the title of Asia Cup 2023 champion.
2023 India Asia Cup Team Captain
There has been no announcement made regarding who will lead the Indian team at the 2023 Asia Cup. However, Rohit Sharma is expected to lead the Indian team at the upcoming Asia Cup in 2023. In the ongoing WCC Finals, India is being captained by Rohit Sharma.
He is undoubtedly a top-tier cricket player. As a result, many people expect Rohit Sharma to lead the Indian team at the 2023 Asia Cup. When India last competed in the ACC event, Rohit led the team as captain.