Shandre Alvida Fritz
July 21, 1985, Cape Town
Right hand Bat
Right arm Medium
Captaining your country is the pinnacle of most players' careers. When this opportunity came to Shandre Fritz in 2007 - and at 21, similar to Graeme Smith, who was 22 when he became South Africa's captain - she was delighted. Then a freak accident robbed her of the chance.
When diving into a swimming pool in Kimberly she clipped the top of her head and felt a shooting pain down her left side; she had damaged her back, specifically, the nerves in the 6th and 7th vertebrae. She then missed the successful series against Pakistan and Netherlands.
She also missed the chance of making her Test debut when South Africa played Netherlands in a one-off Test in July 2007 and missed a chance to lead an African XI against Asia in the Afro-Asia Cup played in Bangalore later that year. Cri-zelda Brits was handed the captaincy in her absence. Fritz eventually made her comeback to the national side in February 2008 in South Africa's victorious campaign at the World Cup Qualifiers in Stellenbosch.
Since her debut in 2003, taking what remain career-best figures of 4 for 36 against England, she has quickly established herself as the premier allrounder in the side. Despite a disappointing World Cup in 2005, she remains confident the side will be much tougher by 2009.
She began playing at the age of 10 and was soon singled out for her bowling. She has a top score of 48 which came in the washed out World Cup match against Ireland. She is something of a fitness fanatic and believes this is an area where South Africa can make up ground on England and Australia.
Cricinfo Staff February 2008
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