After a frustrating year in which Sydney Sixers importer Dane van Niekerk was largely sidelined, jetlag will not hamper the magenta on Hurstville Oval this weekend.
The South African captain came to Australia from Port Elizabeth on Wednesday and expects to face the Sixers against the Melbourne Stars on Saturday afternoon.
It’s a quick turnaround, but van Niekerk just has to look at the example of South African and Sixers import colleague Marizanne Kapp – who is also her wife – after the fiery start last Friday was only two days after her arrival on Australian soil after the end of the proteas tour of India.
“They tried their best to bring me here earlier to acclimatize me, but Marizanne did that (she made a quick turnover) and she said she was fine,” van Niekerk said Thursday.
“We have done enough to know what we need to do to be ready to play.”
Van Niekerk played in August for the Surrey Stars in the English Super League. However, this operation was nullified by leg and foot injuries that prevented them from leaving their country in a domestic series against Pakistan, earlier this year and most recently on their India tour.
The need to pass a final fitness test in South Africa before bumping into their Sixers teammate delayed van Niekerk’s arrival in Down Under.
“With my injuries, I also had to do a return to play the game in South Africa,” she said.
“I’m fine (jet lagging), so I’m glad I’m starting training today so I can do the worst. “I’ve been doing this for four or five years, so I know what to expect.”
The Sixers are 1-1 after two games, having defeated on Saturday night at the North Sydney Oval in the 93rd round against Brisbane Heat defeat.
They are now meeting a Stars team desperate to fight for their first win after losing two games against Hobart Hurricanes last weekend.
On paper, the Sixers seem to have a clear upper hand against the injured stars, but they will become their WBBL | Do not forget 04 results as the team in Melbourne has unbalanced the Sixers not once but twice.
In the first of these defeats, Van Niekerk’s compatriot Lizelle Lee inflicted the damage with a stunning unbeaten 102 out of 56 deliveries.
“She’s like a runaway train when she drives off,” van Niekerk told Lee. “You must try to stop the Run Flow more than anything else and get them out of the strike.
“Hopefully she can stop Lee early with Marizanne (Kapp) Lee. “We will not take a team easily in the competition.”