18 May EMERGING TALENTS AT MOMENTUM PROTEAS NATIONAL TRAINING CAMP
TSHWANE: Three rising stars in Six Gun Grill Western Province’s Leah Jones, Hollywoodbets KwaZulu-Natal Coastal’s Nobulumko Baneti and Titans Ladies’ Eliz-Mari Marx who harbour hopes of making an impression were invited to the latest Momentum Proteas national training camp in Tshwane.
The trio are part of the 27-player squad that includes a number of the nationally contracted, SA Emerging and high-performance players that are taking part in the Proteas Women’s final preparations ahead of the tours to Ireland and England beginning next month.
Baneti, Jones and Marx are not new to the national camp set-up, having attended previous camps at the end of 2021. The youngsters were honoured to receive a call-up and get the opportunity to work alongside some of the stars from the 2022 ICC Women’s World Cup once again.
“It’s obviously a privilege. It feels good, I have enjoyed myself thus far so hopefully it can just get better from here,” Jones commented, who is a bowling all-rounder that idolizes Australian superstar, Ellyse Perry.
Skiddy fast bowler, Baneti said: “It feels so good to be a part of the squad. We are here to learn from the experiences of the senior players. They are helping us here and there, so it’s been very good.
Meanwhile, 19-year old Marx stated: “The first time I got a message from someone via, via, telling me that I am going to this camp, I was very excited.
“It’s only my second camp, but I am really enjoying being with the experienced players and learning from their experiences, especially from the World Cup and what they’ve learned after that semi-final.
In this season’s domestic cricket, the three players had notable campaigns for their respective sides, with 20-year old Jones leading the way with the ball in the CSA Women’s Provincial One-Day competition, taking 21 wickets in 10 matches at an average of 12.61, with a best of four for 14.
Titans’ promising all-rounder, Marx also had a solid 50-over campaign, grabbing nine wickets in six outings, while Baneti, who hails from Fort Beaufort in the Eastern Cape, had a consistent debut season at the KZN Coastal following her move from Border during last season.
When asked about the biggest challenge they have faced during camp and in making the step up, the triad of Protea hopefuls said:
“To be honest, the biggest challenge for myself as a bowler initially was bowling to these great caliber batters. It is like they have their game figured out, so they always pose a challenge for you,” Jones commented.
“As a bowler, I am here to emulate someone like Masabata Klaas, so it’s a challenge for me, because we bowl the same thing, in-swing bowling, with the same action. It is a very big challenge for me,” Baneti noted, who also looks up to Shabnim Ismail’s fiery personality.
“The workloads are quite a big jump. You only play a few games provincially and then going into a national team, where you play tournament after tournament, non-stop, and you go back home after how many months of traveling, so the workloads are a huge difference,” Marx added.
Age is well on the side of these players, with Baneti (23) and Jones having already experienced SA Emerging cricket in last year’s white ball inbound tour against Thailand. Although Marx unfortunately missed the age limit for next year’s inaugural ICC Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup, the Centurion-born youngster has a bright future within the high-performance set-up.
The players all bring something different to the table in terms of skill and ability, but they all share one thing in common; the dream to play for the Momentum Proteas, with all three echoing the following sentiment:
“My ambition is to play for South Africa, that is without a doubt. I just have to work hard and maybe work a little bit harder to push on and make sure I knock on the door consistently,” Marx said.
Baneti, Jones and Marx played prominent roles in the two red-ball, inter-squad matches being held at the Groenkloof Oval during the camp, with all three players showing glimpses of quality to not only impress the coaching and selection staff, but the fellow teammates as well.
Audio and video, including training visuals, featuring Nobulumko Baneti, Leah Jones and Eliz-Mari Marx are located here.
Momentum Proteas National Training Camp Squad (27 Players):
Micaela Andrews (SWD), Anneke Bosch (Senwes Dragons), Nobulumko Baneti (Border), Tazmin Brits (Senwes Dragons), Trisha Chetty (Hollywoodbets KwaZulu-Natal Coastal), Nadine de Klerk (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Nicole de Klerk (Hollywoodbets KwaZulu-Natal Coastal), Annerie Dercksen (Free State), Lara Goodall (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Courtney Gounden (Hollywoodbets KwaZulu-Natal Coastal), Anri Grobbelaar (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Sinalo Jafta (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Leah Jones (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Masabata Klaas (Senwes Dragons), Lizelle Lee (Senwes Dragons), Tebogo Macheke (Limpopo), Elize-Mari Marx (Titans Ladies), Paulinha Mashishi (Titans Ladies), Nonkululeko Mlaba (Hollywoodbets KwaZulu- Natal Coastal), Raisibe Ntozakhe (Imperial Lions), Tumi Sekhukhune (Imperial Lions), Nondumiso Shangase (Hollywoodbets KwaZulu-Natal Coastal) Andrie Steyn (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Chloé Tryon (Hollywoodbets KwaZulu-Natal Coastal), Delmi Tucker (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Faye Tunnicliffe (Six Gun Grill Western Province), Jane Winster (SWD).
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