Johannesburg – The Imperial Wanderers is proud to welcome its first female Grounds’ Curator Thandeka Sibeko as it prepares to host the 10th Betway PinkDay ODI edition come Sunday, 20 March 2022 at 10am.

Founded in 1956; isolated in 1970 until 1992, we are excited that 2022 signals Wind of Change for the iconic Imperial Wanderers Stadium as it celebrates 30-years post International Cricket isolation.

As part of the Union’s comprehensive Transformation charter that includes diversity, equality and inclusion for all, Thandeka will be the first female in the 66-year history of the stadium to be part of the grounds curation team that will prepare the ‘spicy’ wicket to celebrate the 10th Betway Pink ODI.

Thandeka will serve as a trainee under the stewardship of the world class Head Grounds’ Curator Evan Flint at the iconic Imperial Wanderers Stadium – a stage where dreams are realised.

“Our journey to create an inclusive environment continues to gain momentum and support across various parts of our business. No area will be left untouched in terms of achieving our long-term inclusivity goal” comments Lions Cricket CEO Jono Leaf-Wright.

According to Evan Flint;

“The Grounds unit had a vacancy and a conversation started between the CEO, HR and the Unit Head as a challenge to invest effort, time as well as resources to find a suitable and passionate female candidate to fulfil the role. This was a process that took months and countless interview sessions but as the organisation and department, we are truly excited with the appointment of Thandeka to inject a female touch to the pitch that hosted the Greatest ODI ever. We certainly do welcome Thandeka with open arms and looking forward to the journey ahead.”

The Tshwane University of Technology student describes herself as competent, fit and hardworking;

“I am very grateful for this opportunity. Evan and his team are fantastic and there’s no doubt that I’m going to learn so much from them along the journey: I never before realised just how much hard work maintaining a field can be. The team is always there to answer my endless list of questions and I am so happy that we as women are being given opportunities in a male dominated industry. The Imperial Wanderers Stadium, whilst intimidating, serves as the absolute best ground that I can learn from.”

Leaf-Wright concludes by saying;

“Another first for Lions Cricket and perhaps even South Africa in our ongoing efforts to empower women. There is absolutely no reason why Thandeka and many others cannot lead the way in this field: For now though, we’re going to encourage this special young lady to dream big and reach new heights on the much-respected playing ground of the Imperial Wanderers and under the ever watchful and brilliant eye of Evan.”

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