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Rambaldo excited about return to South Africa

Sat, Sep 25, 2010 1:35 PM


Dutch skipper Helmien Rambaldo is looking forward to returning to familiar territory next month when she leads her side at the ICC Women's Cricket Challenge.

Helmien studied at the University of Stellenbosch from January 2003 to December 2006 in which she got a Bachelor of Honours degree in Sport Science, besides studying she played club cricket for the University and state cricket for Boland in her three years there.

Heading back to the southern tip of Africa is something the 29-year-old is keen to do.

"I really enjoyed my time in South Africa studying and playing cricket and I am thoroughly looking forward to being back on South African soil again; I have always enjoyed playing on the pitches and quick outfields," she said.

The Netherlands women's team is going into the six-team series led by Helmien extremely confident after a fantastic back end to the summer.

The ICC European Women's Championship in Stirling, Scotland saw the Netherlands put in something impressive performances as it achieved qualification for the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier.

The commitment and willingness from the players, as well as fantastic support from Head Coach, Ed de Moura Correia and Richard Cox highlights the big steps that have been taken.

Helmien has been pleased with many aspects of her side's performance, but especially the team ethic.

"Technically and tactically we have grown as a team, the cohesion of the side and the mindset we have adapted has been particularly impressive. Initially, the season was looking likely to be quite a difficult one for us as we lost some senior players through injury, family issues, change of job and retirements so we have come through all of that relatively unscathed and we will be even stronger when they return to the fold in due course," she said.

The Championships in Scotland were a particularly good one for Rambaldo herself as she was named Most Valuable Player with scores of 93 not out, 44 and 22. Not only was the Dutch captain one of the key performers with the bat, but her expert captaincy was a great success.

However, she is modest about her efforts: "It is a great achievement and reward for my hard work; however my main focus is on the team's performances, so I'm most pleased about the fact that I'm contributing to team performance and getting to the next level."

Looking forward to the ICC Women's Cricket Challenge, playing at least seven games in 11 days it will be interesting to see how the Netherlands' will stand in global Women's cricket in this particular series. Currently tenth in the world they will be pushing to improve that ranking.

"I think the ICC Women's Cricket Challenge is a great initiative for women's cricket and it will benefit all teams, especially us and Ireland as we have not participated in the previous World Cup, to see where we stand and improve our game, looking forward onto Bangladesh at the Cricket World Cup qualifier," she said.

The development of women's cricket globally is growing significantly and it will be a massive boost nationally for Netherlands to qualify.

"Dutch women will get an enormous boost if we qualify for the Women's World Cup in 2013, it will display all the work that has been put in has paid off and will be a great motivation for the junior girls. Hopefully, having a similar effect to that of Netherlands men's team in 2009 in the ICC World Twenty20 where I was present; it will be such a fantastic boost," she added.



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