ICC Womens World Cup 2017

Pakistan very skilful & dangerous in tournaments like these – Van Niekerk

Pakistan very skilful & dangerous in tournaments like these - Van Niekerk

“We’re coming into this World Cup without the big pressures that most of the other teams have to face,” she said after the conclusion of their final training session on Saturday (June 24). “We’re not defending champions like Australia, World T20 holders like West Indies and we don’t have the weight of being the hosting nation and feeling like the eyes of everyone here are on us.

“We’re all really excited to be here,” she said. “The girls have gotten used to the conditions and we’re ready and raring to go for the first game. Everyone’s fit, everyone’s excited with a few nerves creeping in, but that’s natural. Hopefully we can contain them (Pakistan) and just go out there and do what we do best.”

“We’re just here to play our natural game and to win. No one comes to a World Cup to just compete, we are here to go all the way and we are going to make sure that we worry about our own game more than that of the opposition to help get us there.”

This World Cup also comes as a breakthrough for the women’s game in South Africa, with it being the first time that all of their fixtures will be telecast live on SuperSport and the skipper believes it’s a step in the right direction to help popularise the sport in her country.

“In previous years our families, friends, sponsors and supporters had to watch via the internet and even then, it was following live scores on certain websites. I can’t tell you how much it means to the team that our games will finally play live on TV for everyone to see. I strongly believe that this, more than anything else will grow the profile of the women’s game in South Africa and we’re truly grateful to everyone involved for making this happen for us,” she said.

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