CBP Ep 9: Team talk with Kapp & van Niekerk
South Africa’s players returned to training in the last week of July. It was a long COVID-19-induced break for them, like most. Their last match was the heart-breaking semi-final defeat in the T20 World Cup 2020.
Hilton Moreeng, South Africa’s head coach, said that the main focus initially was on medical and fitness tests of the players. As things stand currently, South Africa’s main target could be the tour to England followed by the series against India. But both are subject to government clearances.
That aside, it is always interesting to know how players begin after a layoff that stretches for months. This was a period where, really, personal training or outdoor activities were also not possible for many. Moreover, the unprecedented nature of the pandemic meant that the uncertainty stretched longer than first imagined.
For bowlers, the challenges of coming back seem steeper. It is well-known that the human body isn’t actually made naturally for fast bowling and given the run-up and the action of the seamer, it was intriguing to know how players gradually began.
In this episode of the Clean Bowled Podcast, we talked with Dane van Niekerk, South Africa’s captain, and allrounder Marizanne Kapp to know about getting back to training in a bio-secure bubble. Kapp, it is to be known, hadn’t been well since her return from Australia in March. So, we spoke to the duo about the scepticism in getting back to training, their routines and their plans ahead with respect to the Women’s Big Bash League – both are set to feature for Sydney Sixers. They also spoke of its imminent clash with the Women’s T20 Challenge, which is set to be played in the first week of November.
The perks of having a seamer and a spinner together is the fun banter that accompanies their facets. Add Ananya Upendran, my co-host, who is also a seam-bowling allrounder, to the mix, the #TeamPacer movement just gained a bit more momentum, making for hilarious bits.
Hope you enjoy listening to this!