Cool Proteas Women captain Laura Wolvaardt feeling the ‘butterflies’

Laura Wolvaart will hope she has positive start to her tenure as Proteas Women captain. Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Laura Wolvaart will hope she has positive start to her tenure as Proteas Women captain. Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Sep 1, 2023


The Proteas Women begin a new era under the leadership of Laura Wolvaardt when they take on Pakistan in a first-ever T20 international at the National Stadium in Karachi today (4.30pm).

The South Africans have never played in Pakistan, with only Wolvaardt and former captain Sune’ Luus, having played in a couple of exhibition matches earlier this year.

Although Wolvaardt has only been appointed on an interim basis for the Pakistan tour and the subsequent home series against New Zealand, the stylish right-handed batter possesses all the qualities to usher in a new generation of Proteas cricketers.

The 24-year-old has earned the respect of both her senior and junior teammates through not only her world-class performances on the field, but also her work ethic at practice.

Wolvaardt is a perfectionist who enjoys hitting thousands of balls in the nets, while she is a firm favourite of the gym, where she puts in hours of physical training to ensure her body is in peak physical condition.

She has, though, consulted former Proteas skippers Luus and Dane van Niekerk about the task ahead, although she is hoping to put her own stamp on proceedings.

“There are a lot of butterflies at the moment. Since I’ve landed, there has been a lot of planning. I am now part of the bowlers’ meeting for a change. There has been a lot of information. Hopefully I can remember it all,” Wolvaardt said.

“But hopefully having a lot of senior players on the field with me will help. A lot of experienced bowlers know what their plans are, and I can just make the right changes at the right time.

“I’ve had chats with both Sune and Dane ... just chatting about the opportunity, chatting about the experience. Captains I’ve looked to from other countries … Meg Lanning and Heather Knight. I like how calm they are going about their cricket. They never look fazed on the field.

“But everyone goes about it in their own way though. All the advice

I’ve been given is to stay true to myself.”

Wolvaardt is well aware that the best way to lead is through performance, and is hoping to put the Proteas on the front foot with opening partner Tazmin Brits.

“I think it’s going to be a very tightly-contested series. I think they are a very talented side with a lot of talented youngsters, and a combination of some really experienced senior players, like Nida Dar, who has been around for ages,” Wolvaardt said.

“I think, obviously, they have a really good spin attack. It will be important for us to apply ourselves well against the spinners.

“I think the powerplay will be really important here. I really enjoy batting with her (Brits). She’s grown so much as a cricketer and she’s a very destructive player. She’s in good knick as well.”