By Vishesh Roy
New Delhi [India], October 13 : Ahead of the upcoming Women's T20 Challenge, South African all-rounder Sune Luus has said that she is looking forward to absorbing as much as she can from the leadership of Mithali Raj.
The Women's T20 Challenge will be played from November 4-9 in the UAE and Luus will be seen representing Velocity and she will be sharing the dressing room with the likes of Mithali, Shafali Verma and Veda Krishnamurthy.
"I will absorb as much I can from Mithali's leadership skills. She has been in the game for so long and has been in various situations as a leader, so I will be looking to learn as much as I can from her. India has a lot of cricket fans, so if there is any country that can take the women's game forward in terms of audience, it's India," said Luus in an exclusive interaction with ANI.
On October 11, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had announced the squads and schedule for the upcoming Women's T20 Challenge. Last year's finalist Supernovas will be taking on Velocity in the opening game on November 4.
Talking about playing in the upcoming tournament, Luus said: "I couldn't be more excited! Following a long period away from the game due to COVID-19 and a national lockdown, it is going to be so good to get back out in the middle again and play competitive cricket," said Luus.
"I think most of the players have had enough time to prepare for the tournament. We also have a couple of training days after our isolation period, so when the first game comes around, I am sure everyone will be ready to go. After being away from the game for so long it will be great to just play again. I am excited to meet my new teammates and just have the most amazing experience," she added.
The 24-year-old Luus has played 74 T20Is for South Africa, managing to score 731 runs at an average of 19.75. With the ball in hand, she has scalped 47 wickets at an economy rate of 6.35.
Luus believes that the Women's T20 Challenge is a major boost for women's cricket as it will have all the big international stars competing against each other. The all-rounder also expressed her desire to see international players from other countries playing the T20 Super League in South Africa.
"The Women's T20 Challenge is a major boost for women's cricket as it showcases international talent. Cricket South Africa launched the Women's T20 Super League last year, and if we could get international players involved that would be great for women's cricket in South Africa," said Luus.
"For any player performance is key. Whenever you get the chance you have to use it and contribute as much as you can in every aspect of the game," added the 24-year-old.
The best of Indian women's cricketers will combine with some of the leading stars from England, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Bangladesh and New Zealand in a four-match Women's T20 Challenge.
The tournament will be contested between three teams -- Supernovas, Trailblazers and Velocity. Smriti Mandhana will be leading Trailblazers while Harmanpreet Kaur will lead Supernovas.
The squads for all three teams are as follows:
Velocity -- Mithali Raj, Shafali Verma, Veda Krishnamurthy, Sushma Verma, Ekta Bisht, Mansi Joshi, Shikha Pandey, Devika Vaidya, Sushree Dibyadarshini, Manali Dakshini, Leigh Kasperek, Danielle Wyatt, Sune Luus, Jahanara Alam, M Anagha.
Supernovas -- Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Jemimah Rodrigues, Chamari Atapattu, Priya Punia, Anuja Patil, Radha Yadav, Taniya Bhatia, Shashikala Sriwardene, Poonam Yadav, Shakera Selman, Arundhati Reddy, Pooja Vastrakar, Ayushi Soni, Ayabonga Khaka, Muskan Malik.
Trailblazers -- Smriti Mandhana (c), Deepti Sharma, Punam Raut, Richa Ghosh, D Hemlatha, Nuzhat Parween, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Harleen Deol, Jhulan Goswami, Simaran Dil Bahadur, Salma Khatun, Sophie Ecclestone, Natthakan Chantham, Deandra Dottin, Kashvee Gautam.
By Vishesh Roy