Bangladesh captain Nigar Sultana Joty graciously shared insights into her team’s preparations with the DFA, in addition to speaking out their aspirations for the upcoming T20 series against the dangerous and confident Proteas Women.
PREPARE for an exhilarating clash as the Kimberley becomes the battleground for two matches in the upcoming women’s T20 series between Bangladesh and South Africa.
After this coming Sunday’s clash at Willowmoore Park in Benoni, the action switches to the Diamond Oval for two day/night clashes under floodlights where local cricket fans will be privileged to watch what promises to be two thrilling encounters on Wednesday and Friday next week; the series promises top-notch cricket action and intense competition.
The stage is set for an unmissable showdown as these two powerhouse teams face off. The Proteas have enjoyed a good run against the visitors thus far, having won their last three series, beating Bangladesh 2-1 in a three-game series in their own backyard back in 2012, and then following that up with two 3-0 whitewashes in 2013/14 and 2018 here in South Africa.
But will history repeat itself, or has Bangladesh grown in stature, confidence and ability over the last few years?
The DFA newspaper probed this question in an exclusive interview with the captain of the Bangladesh Women’s cricket team, Nigar Sultana Joty.
Joty graciously shared insights into her team’s preparations in addition to speaking out their aspirations for the upcoming T20 series against the dangerous and confident Proteas Women.
Displaying a calm confidence of her own, Joty told the DFA about her team’s preparations and highlighted the visitors’ strengths.
“Preparation has been meticulous,” Joty said, referring to the team’s readiness for the tour. “We’ve had a good (preparation) back home and here as well. We’ve made efforts to adapt to the weather and conditions.
“Challenges lie ahead, but as a team, we are well-prepared to face South Africa head-on,” she said.
Joty emphasised the Bangladesh team’s strengths, singling out the batting unit’s improvement and the consistent performance of the bowling unit over the years. The skipper confidently expressed her belief that their adaptability – given the experience of several squad members who have played at the Diamond Oval – would help them play positive cricket in Kimberley.
The DFA asked Joty if there were any players that could upset the Proteas juggernaut. Joty mentioned that there were some young talents on the rise. She mentioned Marufa Akter who, at just 18, has been performing well with the ball, the 18-year-old all-rounder Rabeya Khan that could unsettle opponents with her leg-break skills and 21-year-old batter Sobhana Mostary who has already faced the South Africans in South Africa and brings good experience and skill to the table
Joty also spoke about the youthful yet seasoned veteran, 23 year-old Nahida Akter whose slow left-arm orthodox spin usually proves a handful for batting sides. Then there’s the explosive left-hand opening batter Murshida Khatun who will not hold back if opportunities present themselves, and the experienced run machine Fargana Haque Pinky who feels that it’s her duty to give the scorers as much work as possible.
With all this in the team’s arsenal, the DFA asked about strategies the visitors will utilise against South Africa. Joty hinted that though it’s good to know the opponent’s strengths, there was no point in obsessing over it, saying that they will focus on their own game. “We’ll set our game plan according to our strengths and will have plans for individual players as well,” the skipper said, then added: “We have the belief that we can beat South Africa in South Africa.”
Joty emphasised team unity as a core strength and highlighted the team’s collective ethos. “Unity is our main strength,” she said. “Win or lose, we do it together. Each day, a new member steps up with a performance to save the day,” she explained.
Fitness emerged as a key focus area for the team, with Joty underscoring its significance in navigating the demanding tournament schedule successfully. “Improving our physical fitness is vital to overcome the challenges in this long-schedule tournament,” she remarked.
In closing, the Bangladesh captain expressed gratitude for the overwhelming support received from fans, both in Bangladesh and globally. “We already receive immense love and support from Bangladeshi people and fans worldwide. We hope for the same support for this tournament. It’s their unconditional backing that brings us here today,” she concluded.
So by all indications, the Bangladesh Women’s Cricket Team, under Joty’s leadership, appears to be geared up and confident as they brace themselves for the thrilling showdown against South Africa in the T20 series.
And in an unprecedented move, ticket prices for the two games in Kimberley have been slashed, giving fans and cricket enthusiasts the chance to witness this high-stakes contest for a mere R16 admission fee.
This incredible offer opens the door for the public to immerse themselves in the excitement of the games under lights and cheer for their favourite teams at an affordable price.
So people of Kimberley, make sure to mark your calendars and secure your seats early to experience the thrill of live cricket at its finest.