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Proteas Women need to hit the ground running against Sri Lanka says veteran Luus

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Former Proteas captain Suné Luus knows it won’t be easy against the spin-heavy bowling attack of the Asian side, but wants her team to put their foot down early and start the series on a good note.

South Africa’s Suné Luus is one of the side’s most experienced players. File Picture: Marco Longari, AFP

Suné Luus expects a tough encounter when the Proteas Women take on Sri Lanka in the first of three T20 internationals at Willowmoore Park in Benoni on Wednesday.

The series is the last of the South African team’s season, and comes at a good time as it will help with preparations for the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh, which starts in September.

Cricket South Africa earlier announced the squad of 15 to take on the islanders, and it had a good mix of youth and experience.

Former Proteas captain Luus knows it won’t be easy against the spin-heavy bowling attack of the Asian side, but wants her team to put their foot down early and start the series on a good note.

“It’s always important for us to start well. We need to be up and running from the first game and get the momentum on our side,” Luus said.

“There have been a lot of domestic games happening and there shouldn’t be any rustiness within the team, and everyone should be ready for Wednesday.”

Luus has scored 1,231 T20I runs, with four half-centuries, in her 114-match career. She is also handy with the ball, and has picked up 49 wickets at an economy rate of 6.54.

She recently decided to stop bowling to focus on her batting.

Mignon du Preez holds the SA record for the most appearances in T20Is with 114 caps, but with her retirement from international cricket, Luus has a chance to break the record against Sri Lanka.

“It’s scary to think I’m only 28 years old and I’m going to be the most-capped player. It’s obviously a huge honour to be playing so many caps for South Africa, and to wear the green and gold,” she said.

“To break the record alongside the people I’ve grown up with, and with my family in presence, it’s going to be a great day in my career.”

Luus’ journey in the game is inspired by Australian all-rounder Ellyse Perry, who made her debut for the national cricket team and the national football team at the age of 16.

She continues to be one of the leading female athletes in the world, and a good role model for women looking to go into sport.

“Ellyse Perry is someone that’s been around, and she’s very professional in everything she does, and I think to be that professional for the number of years that she’s been playing, it’s an inspiration,” Luus said.

“She’s someone that’s been good to look up to as her career has been progressing.”

Luus was only 16 when she made her debut for the Proteas in 2012. She was still in school and had to find a balance between cricket and her education.

Another 16-year-old, Karabo Meso, got her maiden SA call-up for the Sri Lanka series, and could learn a lot from the former skipper.

“I’ve only heard about Karabo, but have never played against or with her. It will be my first training session with her, so it’s going to be quite interesting to see. I’ve only heard good things about her as a keeper and as a player,” Luus said.

“School is important to finish, and I would also like to encourage her to do the same. I had to miss out on some tours to prioritise my education, but it’s an exciting time for her to be coming into the squad.

“If she makes an impression in this tour, then a lot of doors will open for her.”

Obakeng Meletse

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