ICC Media Release
A preview of the opening round of matches in the Women's World Cup qualifying competition in South Africa.
Netherlands v Papua New Guinea
Dutch skipper Helmien Rambaldo admits that she knows nothing about the Netherlands' opening day opponents but is still hopeful of victory over PNG as the sides begin their ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier campaign in South Africa.
'We are pretty confident ahead of our opening game. We have worked hard on our strengths and are looking forward to playing the game' says 27-year old Rambaldo.
'We don't know anything about the opposition. It's a bit odd but we'll focus on our own game. If we get all our strengths right then we'll do ok. We're looking forward to the challenge of the other teams and playing all of our games.'
For Papua New Guinea, who will be led by Kune Amini, the main challenge will be the fact it is their first ever competitive match on a turf wicket.
Pakistan v Ireland
Pakistan captain Urooj Mumtaz Khan has revealed that her side is a mixture of excitement and nerves ahead of tomorrow's game against Ireland. In what is set to be the game of the day (and the only match which has ODI status on the opening day of the tournament), two of the favourites for the event should provide an exciting contest as the ICC Women's Cup Qualifiers get under way in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
'It's a big tournament, it's a huge thing for Pakistan to be here and it's the first game on Monday so we're all very anxious and excited at the same time. We're hoping for some good results and hope for a good tournament' said Pakistan's skipper. 'We're very confident and hopefully Pakistan will be in one of the top two slots.'
Both teams have spent a week in South Africa in preparation for the event, although rain curtailed Pakistan's only warm-up match.
For Ireland, coach Miriam Grealey has been pleased with how preparations have gone, and admits feeling confident after a good warm-up in Port Elizabeth. Grealey said: 'The matches we played, although didn't go our way, were tight and served their purpose.
'We have to be confident don't we? We came here not to come second but to try and win the competition but obviously our main concern is topping our group. On paper I think South Africa will be favourites to win the tournament, so our main concern is to get through the group, avoid South Africa in the semi-final if I was honest and then get to the Final.'
The teams last met in the Women's World Cup qualifier for the 2005 event, although Pakistan has gained a considerable amount of experience since that date.
Zimbabwe v Scotland
Zimbabwe skipper Julia Chibhabha is confident of her side's chances ahead of their opening match against Scotland tomorrow. 'Obviously we are looking to win our first game. I think every team is looking to play well in their first game so against Scotland we're hoping we'll win' she says.
Chibhabha admits not knowing much about their opposition and doesn't believe that will harm her side's chances in their opening match of the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
Indeed she is confident enough to predict that her side may even be capable of having a real impact in the latter stages of the tournament.
Chibhabha said: 'I think our chances are just as good as any other team at the moment. After tomorrow, we'll be able to see how far we can go in this tournament. 'But I'm very confident that we'll get to the Final but it might be a difficult task.'
Meanwhile, Scotland completed a full training session this morning and has a fully fit squad available for selection.
South Africa v Bermuda
38-year-old veteran Daleen Terblanche hopes she can help her side to another Women's World Cup campaign before she hangs up her boots.
Terblanche, a member of the South African side that performed so disappointingly at the last World Cup back in 2005, is part of a strong side which is highly fancied to win the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier which begins on Monday in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
'I'm really looking forward to it as we didn't perform so well in 2005 obviously. We underperformed there and I think we have a good squad and girls with a lot of good talent coming through and some youngsters' says Terblanche.
The ICC Women's World Cup Qualifiers were due to be played in Pakistan last year, but were postponed and rescheduled for South Africa, and Terblanche believes this is an important factor in inspiring the team with confidence.
'We know the fields, we know everything that happens, the weather and the winds. A lot of the girls come from the Western Cape so they know the conditions' she said.
Bermuda, a surprise qualifier from the Americas region, is hugely inexperienced at this level but is relishing the opportunity to gain some valuable experience at this level.