Here's why SA's Dane van Niekerk announced an early retirement
South Africa Women all-rounder and former captain Dane van Niekerk has surprisingly announced her retirement from international cricket. Niekerk, 29, has had an illustrious career with the SA women's team and even led the team for some years. The early retirement comes as a shock for the entire cricket fraternity. Let us dive into the details of the same.
Why does this story matter?
- Niekerk has been a stalwart for SAW's team ever since she made her debut back in 2009 during the World Cup.
- She has been consistently scoring runs and picking wickets across formats for her country, and hence her retirement will surely affect Cricket South Africa dearly.
- This news comes a month after CSA omitted her from the 2023 ICC Women's T20 World Cup squad.
Dane van Niekerk: South Africa's all-round juggernaut
Having featured in 86 WT20I matches, Niekerk is SA W's second-highest run-scorer with 1,877 runs averaging 28.01. She is only behind Lizelle Lee (1,896). Niekerk has played in 107 ODIs, scoring 2,175 runs and taking 138 wickets. She is one of five women to pick 100 ODI wickets for SAW. She is the third-highest wicket-taker (138 scalps), only behind Shabnim Ismail and Marizanne Kapp.
South Africa's most successful captain in ODIs
Niekerk is considered a fierce leader, and her aggression was on show when she led SA. She is SA's most successful captain in ODIs, having led them to victory in 29 of 50 ODIs. They won 15 of 30 T20Is as well. Niekerk also led the Oval Invincibles to their inaugural Hundred title in 2021.
The reason for early retirement
Niekerk was left out of SA's World Cup squad where they eventually lost in the finals. It came as a shock for the 29-year-old, who failed her fitness test by 18 seconds. While CSA could have overlooked it, considering she was returning from an injury, they decided against it. This omission fueled Niekerk's decision to retire from international cricket.
What did Dane van Niekerk say?
"You have to accept that some chapters in our lives have to close without closures," she posted on Instagram on Saturday. "There is no point in losing yourself by trying to fix what's meant to stay broken," she added while announcing her retirement. Niekerk is currently plying her trade in the Women's Premier League (WPL) for Royal Challengers Bangalore.