Johannesburg: Women’s cricket global superstars Smriti Mandhana, Laura Wolvaardt and Alyssa Healy are ready to ‘Turn it Up’ for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup to be held in South Africa in February 2023. To mark the occasion of 100 days to go, a new campaign ‘Turn it Up’ was launched on Tuesday, to garner nationwide interest and excitement ahead of the event.
The eighth edition of the Women’s T20 World Cup is set up to be a competitive showcase of cricket, as defending champions Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies prepare to turn it up for the ultimate prize in T20 cricket.
Smriti, the India vice-captain and left-handed opener, affirmed India are motivated to improve on their runners-up performance in the 2020 edition of the tournament, which saw them lose to hosts Australia in the final attended by a record-breaking crowd of 86, 174 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
“The Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa promises to be a spectacular event, we are looking forward to heading there and competing against the best teams in the world. We came up short against Australia in the final in 2020 so we are really motivated to go one further in 2023. South Africa is a beautiful country to tour, the people love their cricket and always know how to turn it up, it’s going to be an amazing experience,” she said in an official tournament release.
Laura, the star Proteas batter, is looking forward to representing South Africa in a T20 World Cup at home for the first time in a ‘once-in-a-career’ opportunity. “I am excited at the thought of the Women’s T20 World Cup being only 100 days away. Hosting a World Cup at home is special, it is something that might only happen once in my career. It will be the first time we will be playing in a World Cup with some home support, that is something I am looking forward to.”
“It will also be the first time I play for South Africa at Newlands, I have only played one or two provincial games but never for South Africa. It is one of the most beautiful grounds in the world so to be there for a World Cup game will be incredible. I hope people come to watch, the atmosphere will be incredible, there is nothing better than being a supporter at Newlands; sitting in the stands and soaking it all in. It will be a special experience, I can’t wait to get going and to turn it up for the fans.”
Australia, the defending champions, will open their campaign against neighbours New Zealand at Boland Park on February 11in search of their sixth Women’s T20 World Cup title. Alyssa, Australia’s vice-captain and wicketkeeper-batter, says defending their title in South Africa will be a good test for her team.
“It’s exciting to think that the next World Cup is only 100 days away. The women’s game continues to go from strength to strength and I’ve got no doubt the next tournament will be a memorable one. We’re looking forward to taking on the best teams in the world and defending the World Cup.”
South Africa, who are hosting the Women’s T20 World Cup for the first time, are also preparing to play hosts to the inaugural ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup, which will be played in Potchefstroom and Benoni in January 2023.