Every kingdom has its kings and queens and rightly also so in the world of cricket. In less than a month our kings and queens are going to battle it out with the rest of the cricketing world to see who the best is in T20 cricket. The women will be competing for the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 cup from 23 March to 2 April 2014 and the men for the ICC World T20 trophy from 16 March to 9 April 2014. Both tournaments will be hosted by Bangladesh
Mignon Du Preez and her team will be taking on Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Ireland in Group A. The rest of the 10 participating countries; England, West Indies, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will contest for first place in Group B.
With this exciting tournament ahead we decided to take a closer look at the captain of our battleship, Mignon du Preez.
Du Preez has proven to be a captain that leads by example. Currently the South African captain is 12th on the Reliance ICC Women’s Player Rankings for T20 Batsmen, the highest ranked South African batswoman. Her personal goal is to be in the top five of the ICC rankings for batsmen. She has played in 37, T20 games for South Africa and holds an average of 20.53 with a strike rate of 92.29. Her highest score is 53* not out and she has scored two other 50th on other occasions.
Du Preez was announced as the national captain by Cricket South Africa (CSA) in October 2011 at the age of 22. She made her debut as captain against England and ever since has been taking the team from milestone to milestone. The Proteas have claimed many victories under her leadership. They won the T20 and ODI series against England Academy in April 2012 as well as their first away series against Bangladesh that same year. The team reached the super six stages for the first time during last year’s ODI World Cup. They also won against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka on home tours. Earlier this year, 2014, the Proteas won the Qatar 50-over Tri-Series in Doha and played in the final of the T20 series.
When we asked this 24 year old Pretoria girl what she thinks their changes are of winning the T20 World Cup she modestly replied that realistically the main goal for now is to reach the semi-finals. Due to the fact that there are no playoffs, the Proteas have to end up in the top two of Group A to play in the semi-finals.
Mignon believes in leading by example both on and off the field. Her Christian values are important to her thus she promotes a servant- leadership style in her captaincy. “As a captain you are not supposed to wait and expect to be served, you are supposed to serve others.”
Accept for leading our Protea Queens, Mignon loves to spend time with her family. She also regards them and with her boyfriend of eight years as the most important people in her life. They are also her biggest supporters along with her little cousin.
Du Preez is not only a talented and beautiful sportswomen, she also successfully obtained a Honours degree in Marketing at Pretoria University.
Her advice to the youth is to dream big, “If your dream does not scare you, it is not big enough” – says du Preez. She also advises to learn from your mistakes, “What matters is to bounce back and to turn your stumbling blocks to stepping stones”.
Winning a World Cup has always been one of Du Preez goals for the team. We want to wish her and her team along with the managing team all the best with this T20 World Cup. May it be a goal achieving tournament!
Du Preez is joined by a 14 women quad who is fired up and ready for the battle that lies ahead. The squad consist of Trisha Chetty, Moseline Daniels, Shandre Frits, Shabnim Ismail, Marizanne Kapp, Lizelle Lee, Marcia Matshipi Letsoalo, Sunette Loubser, Sune Luus, Nadine Moodley, Cloe Tryon, Yolandi van der Westhuizen, Dane van Niekerk.
WRITTEN BY: SANELISIWE SOKHELA