South African women’s team has been dealt a major blow with the news that captain Dané van Niekerk will be out of action for at least three months with a left ankle fracture.
Van Niekerk will miss the four-match ODI series against the West Indies in Johannesburg later this month and the 2022 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand in March.
“The injury is a result of an accidental slip on a wet surface at home,” explained Proteas team doctor Tshegofatso Gaetsewe. “As things stand, she doesn’t require surgery but will be monitored closely. It’s a stable fracture with minimal displacement and her recovery timeline is no less than 12 weeks.”
Continuing without Van Niekerk, the team’s immediate assignment is the training camp in Johannesburg to start preparations for the four ODIs against the West Indies at the Wanderers.
The extended training squad will enter a biosecure environment on Friday and the final squad will be confirmed before the series, which runs from January 28 to February 6.
Despite the absence of Van Niekerk, the second-ranked team in the ODI format has a formidable squad featuring stalwarts Shabnim Ismail, Marizanne Kapp, Ayabonga Khaka and ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year nominee Lizelle Lee.
Other players in the extended squad include uncapped Western Province batter Delmari Tucker while Raisibe Ntozakhe has received another opportunity to impress in pursuit of a first cap since 2018.
There are also the likes of all-rounders Chloe Tryon and Sune Luus, seamer Masabata Klaas and wicketkeeper Trisha Chetty.
“We are delighted to come together as a group again in the New Year to prepare for the West Indies tour and, most importantly, for the upcoming World Cup,” said Convener of Selectors Clinton du Preez.
“This is a great opportunity for the coaches to work with this strong group of players and strategically set out the plan for the upcoming series and then moving into the World Cup.
“Losing Dané is massive for the team and the country. We will sorely miss her leadership and all-round cricket abilities. I wish her all the best with her recovery and a smooth and seamless return to the national team.
“This presents an opportunity for another player,” du Preez added.
Proteas training camp squad: Anneke Bosch (Senwes Dragons), Tazmin Brits (Senwes Dragons), Trisha Chetty (Hollywoodbets KwaZulu-Natal Coastal), Nadine de Klerk (Western Province), Mignon du Preez (Titans Ladies), Lara Goodall (Western Province), Shabnim Ismail (Hollywoodbets KwaZulu-Natal Coastal), Sinalo Jafta (Western Province), Marizanne Kapp (Eastern Province), Ayabonga Khaka (Imperial Central Gauteng Lions), Masabata Klaas (Senwes Dragons), Lizelle Lee (Senwes Dragons), Sune Luus (Titans Ladies), Nonkululeko Mlaba (Hollywoodbets KwaZulu-Natal Coastal), Raisibe Ntozakhe (Imperial Central Gauteng Lions), Tumi Sekhukhune (Imperial Central Gauteng Lions) Nondumiso Shangase (Hollywoodbets KwaZulu-Natal Coastal), Andrie Steyn (Western Province), Chloe Tryon (Hollywoodbets KwaZulu-Natal Coastal), Delmari Tucker (Western Province), Laura Wolvaardt (Western Province).