Why did Dane van Niekerk retire from International Cricket at the Age of 29?

Dane van Niekerk, a former captain of South Africa, retired from international cricket at the age of 29 after being omitted from the team for the Women’s T20 World Cup last month. After participating in 197 matches across all formats for the national teams, Van Niekerk announces the end of her career.

Why did Dane van Niekerk retire from International Cricket at the Age of 29?
Why did Dane van Niekerk retire from International Cricket at the Age of 29?

 

“It is with great sadness that I announce my retirement from international cricket. It has been my greatest honor 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 I’m looking forward to seeing this beautiful game that I love to 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 I would not change it for anything. I’m grateful for what this game has given me. To all the players that I had the privilege to have shared the dressing room and competed with, I will hold on to the memories dearly. We are merely custodians of this sport; I hand it over knowing I have given it my everything and that women’s cricket is in a better place than when I arrived. That must be the responsibility of the new group, to always make sure you are improving and making a difference. It is time for me to support the new leadership and wish them all the very best. To my amazing family. Thank you for your incredible love and support. From the age of four, you have seen my potential and did everything and anything to help me succeed. I will forever be grateful. My wife, Marizanne, you 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.” she said.

After failing to meet fitness requirements, the all-rounder was left from South Africa’s squad for the Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 on home soil. Van Niekerk failed to finish a 2-kilometer run in the allotted time set by Cricket South Africa.

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She played for South Africa on 194 times, including 107 one-day internationals (ODI), 86 T20 internationals (T20I), and one test match against India in 2014. The 29-year-old had a distinguished international career. The former Proteas skipper started her career in March 2009 and amassed 2175 runs in ODI cricket, including nine half-centuries and a career-best score of 102 against Sri Lanka. She also scored 1 877 runs in T20 cricket, with 10 fifties.

The legspinner took 204 international wickets with the ball altogether (138 in ODIs, 65 in T20Is, and 1 in tests), including a world record four for zero against the West Indies in the 2017 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in Leicester, England. In addition to having the fourth-best bowling strike rate (5.0) ever seen in women’s ODI cricket, Tshwane-born star Van Niekerk is one of just six female cricketers to amass more than 1000 runs, 50 wickets, and 50 catches in the one-day game.

Team Female Cricket wishes Dane Van Niekerk all the best in her upcoming endeavors. 

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