Dané van Niekerk confirms international cricket retirement | The Citizen

Former Proteas women’s cricket captain Dané van Niekerk has confirmed her retirement from international cricket.

The 29-year-old hinted at the move at the weekend, but Cricket South Africa on Thursday released a statement confirming the decision.

Van Niekerk played for the Proteas for 14 years. She represented South Africa on 194 occasions, including 107 One-Day Internationals (ODI), 86 T20 Internationals (T20Is) and a single Test match against India in 2014.

ALSO READ: OPINION: How sad if this really is the end for Van Niekerk and the Proteas

Beginning her career in March 2009, the former Proteas all-rounder recorded 2,175 runs in ODI cricket, with nine half-centuries and a career-best score of 102 against Sri Lanka, while amassing a further 1,177 runs in T20 cricket, notching up 10 fifties.

With the ball, the leg-spinner bagged 204 international scalps overall (138 in ODIs, 65 in T20Is and 1 in Tests), including recording-breaking figures of 4/0 during the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2017 against the West Indies in Leicester, England.

Van Niekerk, after months of inactivity because of injury, was surprisingly left out of South Africa’s squad for the recent Women’s T20 World Cup on home soil. She had failed to prove her fitness after failing to hit the target on a time trial run.

Under the captaincy of Sune Luus, the Proteas reached the final of the event, but lost to Australia in the last match.

Van Niekerk though won a contract with the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the on-going Women’s Premier League in India, but she has hardly featured.

Van Niekerk’s statement is as follows:

“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.

“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.

‘I will forever be grateful’

“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 the potential and did everything and anything to help me exceed. 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.”

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