It’s been a month since Mignon du Preez decided to pass the responsibility of captaining the women’s Proteas to someone else.
In a bid to re-ignite her enjoyment of the game and to focus on batting her way back to form, the 27-year-old made a decision that she is hoping will reap immediate rewards during the squad’s upcoming tour to Ireland.
The women’s side departs for the Emerald Isle on Wednesday and will play two T20 internationals and four One Day Internationals.
“It will probably only sink in when we’re in Ireland, the first time we’ll play competitively and I won’t have to worry and think too much. We played a warm up game (on Wednesday) and it was nice just being in the field having fun and not having to think who needs to bowl or who goes where,” Du Preez told Saturday Citizen during one of the side’s training sessions this week.
“I do think it is like a weight off my shoulders and I can enjoy the game, have fun and hopefully start scoring runs with the bat. I wouldn’t say I’ve fallen out of love with the game but you sometimes tend to forget why you started,” Du Preez added as she explained her decision.
“I kind of had to be reminded why I started and enjoyed it. I am still a good enough batter. That was one of the areas (that needed attention) because I hadn’t scored the runs. I think I started doubting myself slightly there and that was a concern, doubting my skill.”
The leadership role will be filled by Dinesha Devnarain for the tour to Ireland with newly-appointed captain Dane van Niekerk one of a quartet of senior players who will miss the series due to a clash in commitments.
The former skipper is also willing to assist if needs be – as a senior member of the squad – although she has full faith in the abilities of the interim captain.
“If they need it I’ll do it but Dinesha has everything it takes to be the captain. She’s captained her provincial side for a long time and I don’t think she’ll need much assistance. But if I do pick something up in the field or spot an opportunity I’ll share it.”
And for those who thought that the relinquishing of the captaincy was a signal that she may be looking at calling it a day in the near future?
“No, no, no. there were a lot of people who thought that initially. As long as I can stay fit, keep up and contribute with the bat I’ll keep playing.”