It’s time to stop lumping Proteas Women with the men and their World Cup disappointments

The Proteas Women will take on Bangladesh today for a place in the semi-finals of the ICC Womens T20 World Cup. Photo: Deryck Foster/BackpagePix

The Proteas Women will take on Bangladesh today for a place in the semi-finals of the ICC Womens T20 World Cup. Photo: Deryck Foster/BackpagePix

Published Feb 21, 2023


Cape Town - I have done it on numerous occasions. Guilty as charged.

So, this is no throwing stones from a glass house kind of column.

But why have I done it?

Because it’s so easy, and even lazy to be honest, to lump all the Proteas’ World Cup disappointments in one big cesspit.

It’s also the collective pain South Africans have felt over the years and the desperation to finally have some form of success at a senior ICC tournament.

To be fair, though, it’s the Proteas’ Men’s team’s baggage to carry. And theirs alone.


It is they who have choked on their own saliva so many times. Not the Proteas’ Women’s team. They should not be slouching around with the world all on their shoulders.

They should be enjoying every minute of this ICC T20 Women’s World Cup on home soil and embracing the occasion, especially this week where they have the opportunity to be real game changers in a society that is craving for genuine female heroes and role models.

So, yes … that’s a different type of pressure. But they do not deserve to carry any more due to lack of performance by their male counterparts.

The Proteas Women’s team is in its infancy and are only beginning to develop the structures the men’s team have taken for granted for years.

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The level of expectation they have created is in fact an over achievement considering their opponents resources, particularly Australia, England, India and New Zealand.

The Proteas Women’s team have reached three major ICC tournament semi-finals in the past five years - two in the 50-overs World Cup (2017 and 2022) and one in the T20 World Cup (2020).

That’s three more than the Men’s team in the same period.

Make no mistake, they are also prone to a blowout and struggle to deal with expectations.

ALSO READ: Destiny awaits as Proteas gear up to face Bangladesh in must-win T20 World Cup clash

After beating England in the group stages, the 2022 World Cup semi-final against the defending champions in Christchurch is a case in point, while the opening defeat to Sri Lanka at Newlands in this ICC Women’s T20 World Cup was also a shocker.

But they will beat Bangladesh today at Newlands - weather permitting - and progress to a consecutive T20 World Cup semi-final.

Any comparisons with the Proteas Men’s team's disastrous loss to the Netherlands at the same stage of their competition last year in Adelaide is foolhardy.

And I am willing put my proverbial on the block for it!