July 23, 2020 / 4:16 PM / 13 days ago

South Africa women's team begin preparations for England tour

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - South Africa’s women’s cricket team are going into a training camp on Sunday in the hope of getting government permission to travel to England for a series of limited-overs internationals against the hosts.

South Africa’s strict COVID-19 lockdown has been loosened to allow sports teams to begin practising but there have been no matches apart from an exhibition game last weekend.

The border remains closed save for repatriation flights as the number of coronavirus infections increases but Cricket South Africa has called up 24 players for a week-long camp at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria.

It is the first time they have assembled since reaching the T20 Women’s World Cup semi-finals in Australia in March.

“The projected tour of England will have a heavy emphasis on the 50-over format as we start preparing for the Women’s World Cup which is still scheduled to be played in New Zealand early next year,” Graeme Smith, CSA’s director of cricket, said in a statement.

“We have been through a frustrating period with the team not able to build on the excellent form they showed at the Women’s T20 World Cup and next week’s camp represents an important new starting point.”

England had planned a Tri-series with India and South Africa but India have since withdrawn.

Squad: Dane van Niekerk (captain), Anneke Bosch, Tazmin Brits, Trisha Chetty, Nadine de Klerk, Mignon du Preez, Lara Goodall, Shabnim Ismail, Sinalo Jafta, Marizanne Kapp, Ayabonga Khaka, Maria Klaas, Lizelle Lee, Sune Luus, Zintle Mali, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Raisibe Ntozakhe, Robyn Searle, Tumi Sekhukhune, Nondumiso Shangase, Andrie Steyn, Chloe Tryon, Faye Tunnicliffe, Laura Wolvaardt.

Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Ed Osmond

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