The Proteas Women were supposed to play a Black Day match to raise awareness about South Africa’s struggle with gender-based violence. Its postponement doesn’t mean the fight is off.
Sunday 22 March was supposed to be a landmark day for women’s cricket in South Africa. The Proteas Women, led by Dané van Niekerk, were scheduled to play a one-day international with added significance. It was supposed to be the inaugural Black Day at Kingsmead Stadium in Durban.
The opponents would have been new Women’s Twenty20 World Cup champions Australia, on a day that was supposed to raise awareness about the rise in femicide and gender-based violence in this country. The game was to be the first of a three-match series against the side that narrowly defeated South Africa in the semifinals of the recent T20 World Cup held in Australia.
That event closed in emphatic fashion, as a record 86 174 crowd watched an iconic final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the highest attendance ever at a women’s cricket event.
Black Day was supposed to raise awareness about the increase in violence towards women and children, at a rate that shows no sign of slowing down. But like so many other sporting events around the world, it has been postponed indefinitely by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It’s a pity it is not happening right now, but that is obviously understandable. When it does happen, it will be an important day for us, because it is something that we want to stand up for. Strongly,” Van Niekerk bristled.
She spoke of the need to present a united front and how the event was a sign of their growing influence as a team in South Africa. But as she spoke, her voice trailed away. She was distracted by a strange-looking man walking past her and her wife, Marizanne Kapp.
This article was initially published at NewFrame