Ahead of the first T20I between Board President`s XI and the South Africa women`s team, skipper Sushma Verma on Thursday said that she is hopeful of a good performance from the entire side.
"We are hopeful of a good performance from the entire team. We hope that everyone rises up to the challenge and displays a strong performance. I have come here for the first time. The ground facilities are top-notch. We had one net session yesterday and it was good. I think the wicket is good and let us see how it goes," Verma told reporters.
The wicket-keeper-batter said that the perception of the spectators in India has changed towards women`s cricket. She was also hopeful of a good crowd turnout for the first match between the two teams.
"After the last World Cup, the attitude of the Indian spectators has changed towards us. They are keenly following us. We are expecting a good crowd here. Women`s IPL also garnered a great number of spectators so I look forward to a good crowd in Surat," Verma said.
The Indian fielding coach Biju George also expressed his views on men`s and women`s cricket. He said that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is making constant efforts to improve the state of women`s cricket in India.
"In one shot you cannot equate men`s and women`s cricket. If you look at the last couple of years, the state of women`s cricket has developed in the country. BCCI has helped women`s cricket in India. Ever since women`s cricket came under the fold of BCCI, the condition has improved," George told reporters.
South Africa will take on the Board President XI in two T20Is before taking on India in five T20Is and three ODIs.
Board President`s XI squad for two matches against South Africa includes Sushma Verma (Captain), Devika Vaidya (vice-captain), Vanitha VR, Shafali Verma, Priya Punia, Jasia Aktar, MD Thirushkamini, Madhuri Mehta, Tarannum Pathan, Sushree Dibyadarshini, Tanuja Kanwar, Bharti Fulmali, Mansi Joshi, Renuka Singh, and Pooja Vastrakar.
India squad for first three T20Is against South Africa is made up of Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana (vc), Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Taniya Bhatia (wk), Poonam Yadav, Shikha Pandey, Arundhati Reddy, Pooja Vastrakar, Radha Yadav, Veda Krishnamurthy, Harleen Deol, Anuja Patil, Shafali Verma, and Mansi Joshi.
India will take on South Africa in the first T20I at Surat on September 24.