Johannesburg – The Imperial Lions Womens Team today hosted their season launch, revealing not only who would lead the Pride of Jozi this season, but also giving fantastic insight into the fixtures ahead, coach expectations and team goals.
First up is the National League Tournament (unofficial) and is the top 6 women sides (Imperial Lions, Six Gun Grill Western Province, Hollywoodbets KZN Coastal, Easterns, Senwes Dragons, Northerns) set to face each other in a BSE. Held within Gauteng from 21 – 28 October (live on pitchvision), the 50 over format game will be tightly fought for.
The Imperial Lions team includes the likes of Momentum Protea players Ayabonga Khaka and Tumi Sekhukhune as well as 2 SA Emerging players in Palesa Mapoo and Kgomotso Rapoo. Adding further strength is the likes of Yolani Fourie, Kristie Thomson, Nonkululeko Thabethe as well as Lehlohonolo Sardick.
Head coach Shaun Pretorius says that with the packed season will come tension and pressure;
“There will be no easy games as we are in the national league, with the last placed team to be relegated – something every team wants to avoid. First up is the Biosecure environment fixtures which will take place in Gauteng at Saint Stithians College from 23 – 28 October 2021”.
“The 50-over format is welcomed and we aim to give of our best, for when teams start to loose, the pressure starts to build. We had very good preparation leading to this BSE with lots of warm up fixtures and also a super team building session at Sun City where our focus was about the team and not the ‘I’, but in the same sense the ‘I’ is also important. We focused on learning to stay calm and to trust your teammate on and off the field. The team building certainly brought everyone closer together with the aim of creating a family away from home”.
“We have a few injuries such as promising u19 player Oluhle Siyo, who is out with a knee injury and is busy with rehab. Raisibe Ntozakhe, whilst was cleared by ICC for bowling action, unfortunately got injured on her bowling hand during a warm up match against North West last week and so is out for now. Some of our scholars are also not present due to the BSE clashing with their school exams, and Lions Cricket has always taken the stance that academics come first.”
The Imperial Lions Bio Secure Environment 50 over team:
Yolani Fourie (Captain), Ayabonga Khaka, Tumi Sekhukhune, Sharne Mayers, Kirstie Thomson, Nonkululeko Thabethe, Paballo Tshidi, Kgomotso Rapoo, Palesa Mapoo, Karabo Meso, Samantha Schutte, Jameelah Shaikjee, Keneuoe Makhakhe, Lehlohonolo Sardick.
The coaching and management staff is made up of:
Head Coach – Shaun Pretorius
Assistant Coach – Tholang Hlalele
Team Manager – Alyssa Conley
Lions Cricket Women & Girls Administrator – Takatso Mkhwanazi