The captain of the South African Women’s team, Dane Van Niekerk, has been ruled out of the prestigious Women’s World Cup due to a fractured ankle. Van Niekerk is one of the most experienced players, and losing her for a tournament like the World Cup is a big loss for Cricket South Africa.

The 28-year-old all-rounder was in red hot form before getting injured. She was the leading run-scorer in the inaugural season of the Hundred, with 259 runs in nine innings at an average of 43.16. She also bowled beautifully in the tournament with eight wickets at an economy rate of 5.5, showcasing a classy all-around performance. The veteran also had a great Women’s Big Bash League with 356 runs for the Adelaide Strikers.

Van Niekerk- The all-round maestro

Big blow for South Africa Women Dane Van Niekerk to miss Women’s World Cup 2022
Dane Van Niekerk’s stats against top teams

Van Niekerk has proved her mettle against all the big teams at the International Women’s cricket circuit. The veteran all-rounder has played 107 ODI matches and has scored 2175 runs at a decent average of 36.25. She has also been a deadly bowler with 138 wickets at an economy rate of 3.46 through 107 ODI games.

She has performed with both bat and ball against every big team in international cricket. Her performances against the West Indies Women are the best, with 423 runs and 38 wickets in 24 matches. She has delivered for her country with both bat and ball in hand.

Her ability to absorb pressure and deliver intense situations against big teams is precious. In a crunch and tense tournament like the World Cup, Van Niekerk’s experience of playing well against big teams would have been a huge boost for her nation to win matches in pressure situations.

Valuable Van Niekerk

Big blow for South Africa Women Dane Van Niekerk to miss Women’s World Cup 2022
Van Niekerk’s experience in World Cup and ODI’s

The captain led from the front in both departments of the game for South Africa. Van Niekerk’s valuable experience of playing 16 World Cup matches and 70 bi-lateral series matches was a key for her county. She has been their best player for a long time. Her World Cup experience would have helped South Africa as both a player and a captain. Moreover, the player was in tremendous form, and the absence of this high-class all-rounder in such great form is a huge blow for the Africans.

There has been no replacement named yet for the captain’s spot. South African Women’s cricket has reached heights under Van Niekerk’s leadership. Even though South Africa has experienced players like Sune Luus, Shabnim Ismail, Lizelle Lee, etc., in the squad, Van Niekerk provided the perfect balance and stability as a leader and an all-rounder to this South African unit.