Home Sport Cricket Lizelle Lee to miss opening World Cup match

Lizelle Lee to miss opening World Cup match

Lizelle Lee will miss the opening game of the World Cup in New Zealand. Photo: Cricket South Africa via BackpagePix

The Proteas will be without star batter Lizelle Lee for their opening ICC Women’s World Cup clash against Bangladesh on Saturday.

Cape Town – The Proteas will be without star batter Lizelle Lee for their opening ICC Women’s World Cup clash against Bangladesh on Saturday.

Lee, who is the current ICC ODI Batter of the Year, did not travel with the team to New Zealand last month due to her wife Tanja Cronjé giving birth to the couple’s first child.

She only arrived last Sunday, courtesy of agreement between the ICC, Cricket South Africa (CSA), the South Africa Cricketers’ Association (SACA) and New Zealand Cricket (NZC), but now under the New Zealand government’s Covid-19 regulations has to complete her mandatory seven-day Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) period.

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“Lizelle has begun her MIQ period. She will join up with the squad on (next) Sunday – obviously missing out the opening match,” Proteas Women’s team media liaison Lita Gqirana told the media.

In Lee’s absence, the Proteas lost their second consecutive warm-up encounter against England on Wednesday. They were handed a comprehensive six-wicket defeat in Lincoln after going down by two runs to India over the weekend.

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Although practice matches before big tournaments have no bearing whatsoever on what is to follow, it has though been a telling reminder of Lee’s importance to the Proteas’ cause in New Zealand.

Lee was also absent from the preceding series against the West Indies at home due to the Covid-19 complications and although the Proteas managed a come-from-behind 2-1 series victory, there were a couple of unusual misfiring batting displays.

It was only after Lee’s opening partner Laura Wolfvaardt and captain Suné Luus found some form mid-way through the series that the Proteas batting unit found their rhythm again.

The same scenario has played out in the couple of warm-up matches in New Zealand with Wolfvaardt and Luus striking half-centuries during the impressive albeit failed chase against India.

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However, both did not trouble the scorers against England and the rest of South Africa’s batting line-up could only muster 138/9 in the rain-reduced 35-over contest.

There were some positives though with the returning Marizanne Kapp striking a fluent 52 off 60 balls and Chloe Tryon’s 27.

The Proteas should still have too much fire-power for the World Cup debutants Bangladesh in Dunedin on Saturday, but Lee’s return will certainly help take the pressure off the likes of Wolfvaardt and Luus with the next game against Pakistan scheduled for Friday March 11.


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