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News

Dane van Niekerk set to retire from international cricket

Her decision comes a month and a half after her controversial non-selection in South Africa's squad for the T20 World Cup at home last month

Dane van Niekerk was one of the most successful captains of South Africa  •  Getty Images

Dane van Niekerk was one of the most successful captains of South Africa  •  Getty Images

Former South Africa captain and allrounder Dane van Niekerk is set to announce her retirement from international cricket, ESPNcricinfo has learnt. Van Niekerk is currently in India with the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad.
"You have to accept that some chapters in our lives have to close without closures," van Niekerk posted on her Instagram account on Saturday, without directly announcing her retirement. "There is no point in losing yourself by trying to fix what's meant to stay broken."
Cricket South Africa (CSA) is not aware of the situation to date but are set to announce the national women's contracts later this month. Van Niekerk was contracted last year, though she did not play a game for the national side after breaking her ankle in January and there is no clarity on if she would have been offered a contract this year as well. CSA had announced Sune Luus as captain ahead of the T20 World Cup where South Africa reached the final.
One of the shrewdest captains in women's cricket, van Niekerk's decision to retire comes a month and a half after her controversial non-selection in South Africa's squad for the T20 World Cup last month. Van Niekerk failed to pass the fitness test by 18 seconds, though she achieved a personal best in the test and was eventually left out of the squad. In her absence, Luus led the team to their maiden World Cup final, which they lost to eventual six-time champions Australia.
The spin allrounder last played international cricket in September 2021 and was sidelined with a broken ankle. Though she was due to return during the T20I tri-series at home in January this year, her comeback was delayed as she failed the fitness requirements with the head coach Hilton Moreeng assuring that she would be ready for the World Cup.
In a recent interview with ESPNcricinfo, van Niekerk said on the sidelines of the WPL that she wanted to "find the Dane" she might have lost in an emotional rollercoaster of a journey over the past year.
Having made her international debut in 2009, van Niekerk represented South Africa in 107 ODIs, scoring 2175 runs and taking 138 wickets. In T20Is, she scored 1877 runs at a strike rate of 94.94 and scalped 65 wickets at an economy rate of 5.45 in 86 games. She also played a Test, against India in Mysore in November 2014.
She is South Africa's most successful captain in ODIs, having led the team to victory in 29 of the 50 one-dayers from 2016 to 2021 to . In the shortest format, South Africa won 15 of the 30 T20Is from 2014 to 2021 under her leadership. She was a part of South Africa's ODI World Cup squads in 2009, 2013 and 2017 and also featured in the T20 World Cups in 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020.
She also captained Oval Invincibles to the title in the inaugural Women's Hundred in 2021.
Her career highlights include becoming the first player from South Africa to take 100 ODI wickets, in 2017. Overall, she is the third-highest wicket taker for South Africa in 50-over cricket, with 138 scalps, behind Shabnim Ismail and Marizanne Kapp. She also achieved a unique feat of not conceding a run while picking up four wickets in an ODI, against West Indies in 2017.