Elise was the guest speaker at Cricket South Africa’s Women’s Day celebration on August 8 and spoke with great passion about the game she served so well for over 30 years.
So it was with great shock and sadness that the South African cricket fraternity learnt of Elise’s passing the next day, ironically on Women’s Day, which is meant to celebrate heroines exactly like her.
What set Elise apart as the CEO of Titans and Northerns cricket was her ability to combine a gentle, caring touch with tremendous leadership skills, business acumen and organisational excellence.
Although her shock passing will forever taint the memory of that day, CSA’s 2012 Women’s Day function was meant to be a celebration and what a party it was!
CSA has retained a wonderful team spirit and the female staff were able to let their hair down in a series of challenges involving dancing and singing.
National women’s captain Mignon du Preez has a lot on her plate at the moment ahead of the ICC Women’s T20 in Sri Lanka, but she took time out to report back on the team’s preparations, which have been nothing short of exhaustive.
South Africa have been drawn in the same group as hosts Sri Lanka, New Zealand and the West Indies, but Du Preez said her team’s confidence has been boosted by their recent series against world leaders England and the England Academy.
Women’s cricket has unfairly been dubbed as “butch” in the past, but Du Preez, alongside the likes of Dane van Niekerk, Yolandi van der Westhuizen and Shandre Fritz, showed the glamorous, athletic side of the sport.
“There’s not that much awareness about women’s cricket and there’s a misperception, people think you have to be butch to play cricket. But cricket is for any girls – and pretty ones too!” the petite Du Preez smiled.
The rise of the women’s game in South Africa is something Elise Lombard was fully behind. The game of cricket would be much the poorer if it weren’t for the contribution of all the wonderful women who add so much.