ICC Women's ODI World Cup 2022
Proteas captain out of World Cup after mishap at home
A devastated Dane van Niekerk has been ruled out of the World Cup in New Zealand after fracturing her left ankle
14 January 2022, 08:54 PM AEST
A freak injury has ruined South Africa captain Dane van Niekerk's ODI World Cup dream, with a fractured ankle ruling the allrounder out of the upcoming tournament in New Zealand.
Van Niekerk sustained the injury to her left ankle when she slipped on a wet surface at her home in Eastern Cape, and while she will not require surgery at this stage, she will be sidelined for at least three months.
It is a bitter blow for the leg-spin bowling allrounder, who overcame a torrid run of injuries to be named player of the tournament at The Hundred in the United Kingdom last year before impressing in her first season at Adelaide Strikers in the Weber WBBL.
Van Niekerk took to social media to share her dismay on Friday, saying, "Broken. Devastated. Sad. Angry. You name it, I feel it. Four years of working to one goal and to miss out to close to the WC is still unreal.
"I love playing for my country, but love to lead this amazing bunch of players even more!
"However, we have a team that's been performing incredibly well and had made myself and the country so proud."
It is not the first time van Niekerk has been sidelined with a strange injury, during WBBL|05 she missed several matches for Sydney Sixers after deeply slicing her palm while cutting an avocado.
South Africa sit in second spot behind Australia in the ICC's ODI rankings and after making the semi-finals of the last ODI World Cup in 2017, as well as the semi-finals of the 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia, are vying for their first appearance in a final at a major ICC event.
The Proteas have yet to name a replacement captain for the World Cup, and for their upcoming matches against West Indies that will serve as preparation for the event, but fellow leg-spinner Sune Luus has previously filled in for van Niekerk.
South Africa named a 21-player preliminary squad for both upcoming tours, with the group to come together for a 10-day training camp later this week.
Shabnim Ismail returns to action after being ruled out of WBBL|07 with a knee injury.
"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," convenor of selectors Clinton du Preez said.
"Losing Dane is massive for the team and the country, we will sorely miss her leadership and all-round cricket abilities.
"I would like to wish her all the best with her recovery and a smooth and seamless return to the national team.
"This brings about an opportunity for another player within the pipeline."
The ODI World Cup begins in New Zealand on March 4 and runs until April 3.
South Africa training squad: Anneke Bosch, Tazmin Brits, Trisha Chetty, Nadine de Klerk, Mignon du Preez, Lara Goodall, Shabnim Ismail, Sinalo Jafta, Marizanne Kapp, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Lizelle Lee, Sune Luus, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Raisibe Ntozakhe, Tumi Sekhukhune Nondumiso Shangase, Andrie Steyn, Chloe Tryon, Delmari Tucker, Laura Wolvaardt