JOHANNESBURG – Playing in a world cup at home and in front of friends and family is an event that athlete and Momentum Proteas top-order batter, Lara Goodall is setting her sights on.
She is eagerly anticipating the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Goodall is likely to represent her country on the biggest stage of them all when South Africa hosts the 2023 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in February next year.
She looks forward to the possibility of featuring in the opening match against Sri Lanka set to take place at her home ground – Newlands in Cape Town
“I don’t think it has actually sunk in yet. It’s something that we’ve been preparing for, for quite a while. We have just been preparing like it is a normal world cup, but it is one on home soil and luckily for me, it is my home ground,” she said.
Goodall enjoyed a superb spell of form in 2022 as she hit her maiden half-century during a three-match series against Ireland in June and was also a part of the historic Commonwealth Games campaign in Birmingham for Team South Africa.
The 26-year-old recognises the magnitude of the occasion and she hopes that as a team they will create lifetime memories of the tournament.
“To be part of any World Cup opening day is special and to be the home nation makes it even better. I am sure all the girls will try and get their families down as much as they can and just to be able to say you played in the first game of a World Cup is something that every cricketer dreams of,” Goodall explained.
South Africa has been drawn in Group A alongside the defending champions, Australia as well as New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Goodall said that the tournament won’t be an easy affair adding she’s certain they are capable of producing a top-class performance.
She further said playing on home soil would add to their motivation.
“It is a tough group. We cannot play the opposition; we can just play the way we want to play and play to the best of our abilities. We know if we play to our strengths, we know we can beat any cricket side and having home fans and being able to play in front of everyone from South Africa will definitely be an advantage for us,” said a positive Goodall.
The tournament will be held from 10 – 26 February in Cape Town, Paarl and Gqeberha.