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Laura Wolvaardt calls for more red-ball cricket in women's cricket calendar

India and South Africa will face off here at Chepauk for only their third Test in history and first in nearly 10 years, a contest for which Wolvaardt conceded her side is not fully prepared for.
Last Updated : 27 June 2024, 13:01 IST

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Chennai: South Africa skipper Laura Wolvaardt has called for more Tests in women's cricket calendar and inclusion of red-ball tournaments in the rainbow nation's domestic structure, ahead of their one-off Test against India starting here on Friday.

India and South Africa will face off here at Chepauk for only their third Test in history and first in nearly 10 years, a contest for which Wolvaardt conceded her side is not fully prepared for.

While a multi-day red-ball women's competition was resumed in India last season, South Africa have no such tournaments.

"Most of us don't have any preparation in the format, since we don't play domestic four-day cricket. It's difficult, since I have to leave the balls that I have been cover-driving my whole life, and I still tend to play it by instinct," Wolvaardt said during a press conference here on Thursday.

Citing the lack of preparation for red-ball cricket fixtures which are few and far between, the star batter even suggested scrapping the format.

“We either need to play more Tests and incorporate it into the domestic level, or we can just leave it because playing one or three Tests is very hard to adapt to," she said.

"But I want to have more of it,” Wolvaardt added.

South Africa’s last outing in the format was earlier this year in February when they were trounced by Australia by an innings and 284 runs in Perth.

After this fixture against India, South Africa’s next Test assignment will be against England in December.

"Getting the opportunity to play more red-ball cricket is awesome. Having three scheduled in a calendar year is pretty cool," she added.

"I personally really enjoy the format. So, this Test will be a huge challenge for us, and hopefully, we will adapt to the conditions well."

"Women's Tests, in general, is a bit unknown as neither teams have too much experience in it. India does have a good home advantage and winning here will be a tough challenge, but we are up for it,” she added.

The pitch is expected to be spin-friendly while there is also forecast of rain.

"Preparation-wise, we have been facing a lot of spin in the nets lately since it will be the biggest threat here. The balls were staying low at the nets yesterday," Wolvaardt said.

"Batting-wise, it's going to be a big challenge. But thankfully, we have a few top spinners in our squad who are licking their lips and getting ready for the game tomorrow. Hopefully, they are going to put on a great show,” she added.

With the South African men’s team making it to the final of the T20 World Cup, Wolvaardt said her side would also be keeping an eye on Saturday’s final.

"Most of us woke up early to watch the game, but only to watch them chase 57. It was absolutely amazing to watch and felt incredible. We will definitely watch the final and cheer them on," she said.

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Published 27 June 2024, 13:01 IST

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