Cape Town — Dane van Niekerk may not be fit enough to play for the Proteas Women’s team at the on-going ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, but that has not prevented the Royal Challengers Bangalore from securing her services for the inaugural Women’s Premier League.
RCB purchased Van Niekerk, who missed out on selection for the Proteas’ squad due to failing a fitness test by 18 seconds, for the all-rounder’s base price of 30 lakh — which is approximately R660 000.
It is understood Cricket SA will grant Van Niekerk a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to participate in the WPL to facilitate her path back to the national team.
Van Niekerk was one of only four South Africans to be picked up at the WPL auction. Her teammate and wife Marizanne Kapp (Delhi Capitals), Shabnim Ismai (UPZ Warriorsl and Chloe Tryon (Mumbai Indians) were the others.
Kapp was involved in a bidding war between the Capitals, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Gujarat Giants and UPZ Warriors before the Capitals forked out a hefty sum of INR 1.5 crore — the equivalent of R3.2-million.
Ismail, meanwhile, was also in high demand as she fetched INR 1 crore — close to R2.1m — with the UPZ Warriors securing the fast bowler’s services.
Tryon also went for her base price of INR 30 lakh to the Mumbai Indians.
Proteas captain Sune Luus and fellow ICC T20 Women’s World Cup squad members Laura Wolvaardt, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Ayabonga Khaka, Nadine de Klerk and Tazmin Brits were unfortunately not picked up.
Wolvaardt’s omission is a major surprise as she is one of the classiest batters in Women’s cricket, having been selected in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup XI in Australia four years ago while continuing her success in Australia’s WBBL and The Hundred in England.
Left-arm Mlaba is also currently the World’s No 2 ranked T20 bowler in the world and would have expected to receive a bid.
Indian opener Smriti Mandhana fetched the highest price of $415 000 (approximately R7.5m), while Australian all-rounder Ashleigh Gardener and England’s Nat Sciver-Brunt were the most expensive overseas players bought for $390 000 (R6.95m).