“It was important for the next two tours for it [captaincy] to be more of an interim position to see if it’s something I am able to handle and if I can still focus on my batting with the added responsibility,” Wolvaardt said, from England, where she was playing in the Hundred. “I had a conversation with the coach and the head selector… We mutually agreed on the two tours to see if it was something I would respond well to, batting wise and leadership wise as well.”
“She is a very disciplined cricketer. The way she goes about her game is evident to everyone in the team. I don’t think the responsibility will impact her performance,” Moreeng said. “She knows the importance of both roles she plays in the team. We don’t think it should be a challenge regarding her performances.”
Wolvaardt herself is “excited,” by the opportunity and “looking forward to actually doing it,” despite indicating she was not ready to captain earlier in the year. That, she says, was a bluff out of respect for the incumbents. “It’s definitely always something that has been in the back of my mind. At the time, we had great leaders in Dane and Sune so I didn’t want to say anything that could impact that,” she said. “I was just biding my time and the opportunity has presented itself. I am very excited. I think it will test me as a cricketer and develop my game as well.”
Asked how she will approach the task of leadership, Wolvaardt replied with the class of one of her cover drives. “I like to think of myself as quite calm and composed. I am hoping I am able to bring that on the field as well but we’ll see what happens in tight games,” she joked. “I am a little bit more soft-spoken than what other captains might be. I am just going to try and lead from my actions and lead from the front. Hopefully that’s alright.”
She was also not in South Africa for the launch for the announcement of the professionalism of the top-tier of the women’s domestic game, which will see 66 players contracted across six teams. Having given up the opportunity to pursue a degree in medicine to build a career in cricket, Wolvaardt knows first-hand the sacrifices generations of female cricketers had to make to play the game and welcomed the development.
“It’s incredible that girls have a bit more of a pathway to come through,” she said. “It’s always been a challenge for us to fill the gaps because there is not much support outside of the national team or there wasn’t. I’m really looking forward to the future. We will be able to keep a lot more young girls in cricket. They will actually see it as a viable career option. And it takes a little bit of pressure off the contracted players as well because you have that safety net to fall back on. Hopefully we are able to play with a bit more freedom knowing that we have that.”