Cape Town [South Africa], February 1 (ANI): South Africa's star all-rounder Dane van Niekerk said that she is "absolutely broken" about being left out of the upcoming Women's T20 World Cup squad for mot to meeting the fitness standards.
While van Niekerk has been out of action since breaking her ankle in January 2022 at home in Gqeberha and has not played international cricket since September 2021, the 29-year-old performed well in England's domestic Hundred competition last year and was expected to be selected in South Africa's squad for the T20 World Cup on home soil.
However, van Niekerk failed to meet South Africa's fitness requirements and was thus left out of the Proteas' 15-player squad that was announced on Tuesday.
Sune Luus, who has taken over the reins of the Proteas Women's team in van Niekerk's absence, was named the captain for the T20 World Cup.
Dane van Niekerk took to social media to show her frustration at missing out on a home T20 World Cup.
Absolutely BROKEN.. https://t.co/oS4DX7CIkS— Danevn81 (@Danevn811) January 31, 2023
Cricket South Africa reacted quickly to explain why star all-rounder Dane van Niekerk was left out of the Proteas' roster for the 2017 ICC Women's T20 World Cup.
After the squad was announced, unsurprisingly the first question asked to Clinton du Preez, women's selection convener at the press conference was regarding the absence of van Niekerk.
"Dane was given an extensive opportunity to meet the minimum criteria or the fitness benchmark for eligibility into the World Cup. She recently did another fitness test and unfortunately did not meet the minimum criteria, and therefore she's missed out. It's purely based on the not meeting of the fitness criteria that she's missed out," Clinton du Preez said.
During the press conference, du Preez admitted that van Niekerk will be missed as a player but they had to go by the fitness requirements put in place by Cricket South Africa.
"Dane has been an integral part of the team. Her skill set will always be missed on the field. We've had this discussion with her. We've extensively reminded her of that, and appreciated the hard work that she's put in to try to get to the fitness levels," du Preez added.
"It's about remaining consistent with our decisions. Many other players have gone down this route. Everyone is quite familiar with the situation and what is required," he added.
South Africa's first game at the T20 World Cup comes up against Sri Lanka in Cape Town on February 10, while the Proteas also have group matches against New Zealand, Australia and Bangladesh.
South Africa squad: Annerie Dercksen, Marizanne Kapp, Lara Goodall, Ayabonga Khaka, Chloe Tryon, Nadine de Klerk, Shabnim Ismail, Tazmin Brits, Masabata Klaas, Laura Wolvaardt, Sinalo Jafta, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Sune Luus (c), Anneke Bosch and Delmi Tucker.
Non-traveling reserves: Micaela Andrews, Tebogo Macheke, Tumi Sekhukhune. (ANI)