Johannesburg — Dane van Niekerk’s long and winding road with the Proteas Women’s team seems set to have reached a cul-de-sac.
Van Niekerk, the former long-term captain of the national team, has not found favour with Cricket SA in recent times after being sensationally overlooked for the recent ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa on the basis of failing a fitness test.
It was the latest setback for the 29-year-old after her long-term injury battles that saw her also miss last year’s 50-overs World Cup in New Zealand with a freak ankle injury.
In fact, Van Niekerk has only played five ODIs and three T20I’s since the 2020 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup semi-final against Australia at the SCG for the Proteas.
During that intervening period, Sune Luus has been the stand-in Proteas skipper and led her team to the 2022 ICC World Cup semi-final before making history when the home team reached the final of the ICC T20 Women’s World Cup at Newlands last month.
Van Niekerk, who is currently in India with the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad, took the social media on Saturday to intimate that her international career may be drawing to an imminent close.
"You have to accept that some chapters in our lives have to close without closures," van Niekerk posted on her Instagram account.
"There is no point in losing yourself by trying to fix what's meant to stay broken."
Van Niekerk’s wife and national teammate Marizanne Kapp also posted on social media “End of an era” with a broken heart emoji accompanied by a string pictures of teammates other former Proteas such as Mignon du Preez and Lizelle Lee, who have also recently retired.
Van Niekerk will retire as the Proteas Women’s team most successful captain with 29 victories from 50 ODI’s, while South Africa won 15 of the 30 T20Is from 2014 to 2021 under her leadership.
She scored 2175 runs and took 138 wickets in ODIs, while she scored 1877 runs and claimed 65 wickets at an economy rate of 5.45 in T20I’s. She also played a single Test against India in Mysore in November 2014.