Proteas captain Sune Luus calls for women’s SA20 league

Proteas women's captain Sune Luus talks to the media after the T20 World Cup final. PHOTO: Jan Kruger-ICC/ICC via Getty Images

Proteas women’s cricket captain Sune Luus has called on the game’s leaders in South Africa to start exploring the possibility of a women’s SA20 league.

The inaugural men’s SA20 finished a week before the start of the Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa, with the Sunrisers Eastern Cape winning the competition.

The SA20 was a major success, with many games sold out.

Luus, who led the Proteas women’s team to the T20 World Cup final on Sunday, where they lost by 19 runs against six-time champions, Australia, afterwards called for a women’s SA20 league.

‘Help SA women’s cricket’
“We’ve got the Women’s IPL (Indian Premier League) next and that will be massive for women’s cricket.

“And now with the men’s SA20 tournament, we can hopefully get a SA20 for women as well … that would really help SA women’s cricket,” said Luus.

“We’d get the depth we keep talking about,” she added. “That’s why the top three teams are so good; they have their own leagues (Australia, India and England).

“Overseas players come in and you get to play against other players, and get used to it. You won’t then have a situation where someone like Annerie Dercksen (21) comes on to the stage and sees an Ellyse Perry for the first time … maybe they would have played together in a team somewhere before.

“It’s something we need to look at. We’ve been asking for a long time for a SA league. I know there are budget constraints and resources and things like that. But it’s up to CSA and everyone involved to make it happen.”

Laura Wolvaardt
Four South African women will now play in the Women’s IPL, namely Marizanne Kapp, Shabnim Ismail, Dane van Niekerk and Chloe Tryon.

Luus said top-order batter Laura Wolvaardt, who finished the World Cup as the leading run-scorer with 230 runs in six innings, should also get a look-in.

Laura Wolvaardt
Laura Wolvaardt was top run-getter in the T20 World Cup. Picture: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images
“I hope the IPL, the Hundred and the Big Bash were watching,” said Luus, about Wolvaardt’s exceptional batting in the latter stages of the World Cup.

“It was special. It’s in these games that you want players to step up, and she showed her class. And she’s only 23, so she’s still very young. It’s exciting to know she will be here for the next 10 years, and hopefully she breaks all the records in future.”

Luus’ team received widespread support and Newlands was sold-out for Sunday’s final.

“We didn’t envision this when we went into the tournament. We were hoping it would not be too embarrassing with empty stadiums.

“We hoped there would be a couple of people coming to the games, but to see this (all the fans) at every game we played … it is next level. We never really thought it would happen. It was such an honour to inspire the nation, and such a blessing.”

Jacques van der Westhuyzen/ The Citizen