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Former South African captain Dane van Niekerk confirmed her retirement from all forms of international cricket on Thursday (March 16). The legendary spin all-rounder played almost 200 international matches for the Proteas but last played international cricket in September 2021.
The 29-year-old missed the ODI World Cup in 2022 due to an injury and then the recently concluded 2023 T20 World Cup at home due to fitness issues. She failed the fitness test ahead of the squad selection for the World Cup and has since then been tipped to hang up her boots from international cricket.
She hinted at her eventual retirement from international cricket with an Instagram post shared by her wife Marizanne Kapp earlier this week. Now, van Niekerk confirmed her decision to retire from international cricket in an official statement released by Cricket South Africa (CSA).
“It is with great sadness that I announce my retirement from international cricket. It has been the greatest honour to lead and represent my country. I am incredibly blessed to have led the team through its transformative years. There is no doubt that the women’s game is in an exciting space and looking forward to seeing this beautiful game that I love grow.
“I look back on my career fondly and have made incredible memories and want to thank Cricket South Africa and all other stakeholders for your support. Often the journey can be lonely, painful, and emotional, but would not change it for anything. I’m grateful for what this game has given me,” van Niekerk said in her retirement statement.
She also took an opportunity to thank her wife and said that it’s her time to support Marizanne who is at top of her game lately. “My wife, Marizanne, you have stood by my side since day one. Thank you for putting up with me and all that came with it, but yet, here you are. You are at the pinnacle of your career and it is my time to support you, the way you have supported me. I love you,” van Niekerk said.
We wish Dané all the very best ahead of the next chapter in her career: CSA
CSA director of cricket Enoch Nkwe thanked van Niekerk for her contribution to South Africa’s cricket. He praised the former all-rounder for helping women’s cricket grow in South Africa and all around the world.
“I would like to take this opportunity to graciously thank Dané for all her years of service and contribution to not only the ground-breaking success of the Momentum Proteas over the last decade, but to the overall growth and popularity of women’s cricket in South Africa and around the world. Her world-class cricketing ability and exceptional leadership skills are irrefutable and will surely be missed by her team-mates, coaches and all South African fans who have followed her journey over the last 14 years. We wish Dané all the very best ahead of the next chapter in her career,” Nkwe said.
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