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Sekhukhune eager to impress in Dublin

Seamer ready to stake claim for regular berth in Proteas team

Momentum Proteas pace bowler Tumi Sekhukhune gears up for the tour of Ireland starting with the first T20 international at Pembroke, Dublin on Friday
READY TO PERFORM: Momentum Proteas pace bowler Tumi Sekhukhune gears up  for the  tour of Ireland starting with the first T20 international at Pembroke, Dublin on Friday
Image: SYDNEY SESHIBEDI/ GALLO IMAGES

Seamer Tumi Sekhukhune will look to impress for the Momentum Proteas when they prepare for battle in a white-ball tour to Ireland which gets under way in Dublin on Friday.

Sekhukhune, 23, was named in a strong and relatively young 15-player squad that departed for the Irish capital, Dublin, earlier this week.

With five changes made from the World Cup squad, this provides Sekhukhune with an opportunity to stake a claim for a regular team berth as part of the four-pronged fast bowling attack as she gets ready to face off against the unknown challenge posed by the Irish.

Key bowlers Marizanne Kapp and Masabata Klaas are missing out on the tour due to illness and injury, respectively.

“Unfortunately, it is not nice to not see them in the team, but we have a young group of players coming in,” Sekhukhune said.

“Everyone is excited to just pick up their hands and show what they are capable of.

“I am looking forward to learning about the players, playing on these fields, and also getting to know the girls I have never played against.

“We are very fortunate to have someone who gives us videos to watch of the players and I am looking forward to just learning about them; how they bat, how they bowl and field.

“It’s also very exciting to just play against a bunch of new girls, upcoming players, and a team that hasn’t been to the World Cup [since 2005].”

Sekhukhune, who represents the Imperial Lions domestically, made two appearances at the global showpiece in New Zealand, playing in the team’s only round-robin defeat to Australia, as well as the rained-out tie against the West Indies.

She looks back fondly at her maiden one-day World Cup experience that saw the team reach their second consecutive semifinal in the format.

“It was my first time playing in the 50-over World Cup,” the right-armer said.

“It was thrilling and nerve-racking but, most of all, it was exciting, and it was just that adrenalin going through your body and knowing that you can also put your two cents into the team and help get that win.

“I am very fortunate I play with the likes of Wolfie [Laura Wolvaardt], Kapp and Sune [Luus], and I don’t have to bowl to them because they really did well.

“Wolfie scored back-to-back fifties, Marizanne taking a five-for, and Aya [Ayabonga Khaka] took wickets, it was just really exciting to be with the team.”

Sekhukhune, who made her international debut in both formats in September 2018 away to the West Indies, has played a combined 44 matches in both T20 Internationals (21) and One-Day International (23) cricket for SA, taking a total of 36 wickets.

She was looking forward to an intriguing 2022-2023 season that includes the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and the 2023 ICC Women’s T20 Cricket World Cup on home soil.

Asked about her ambitions, the Daveyton-born cricketer said: “My goal is to get wickets.

“With the team, we’ve always had that momentum with our series wins, so we just want to take that momentum through to the World Cup next year.

“My goal is [always] to see myself getting wickets and also being consistent in my lines and lengths and getting those wins.”

Squad for Ireland tour:

Anneke Bosch, Tazmin Brits, Trisha Chetty, Nadine de Klerk, Lara Goodall, Shabnim Ismail, Ayabonga Khaka, Sune Luus, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Raisibe Ntozakhe, Tumi Sekhukhune, Andrie Steyn, Chloe Tryon, Delmi Tucker, Laura Wolvaardt.

 

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