Just how big a loss is Dane van Niekerk not being picked for the Proteas squad for T20 World Cup?

Dane Van Niekerks Absence is a big loss for SA
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On January 31, 2023 at around 12 noon South Africa time, none other than Dane van Niekerk wrote a post on Instagram that within minutes of being put garnered a worldwide response. 

This social media post was, fundamentally speaking, nothing other than a picture of the right handed batter and leg spin specialist in a dejected avatar with two simple words, not more: Absolutely BROKEN. 

Let it be known that the phrase broken was written in all caps.  

Not too hard to understand that the message evokes sadness. But the reason behind it being shared with the wider world?

The Protea Women’s regular white ball captain hadn’t been included in the squad eventually picked to represent the nation in a tournament that, arguably speaking, is the world’s prime watch this year: the T20I women’s World Cup

To some- the great Dane van Niekerk had been ignored. To others, she’d been snubbed. In cricketing lingo and common sense speak, a famous player had been dropped. 

Whatever be your preferred language and whatever might be your chosen mode of decoding big cricketing decisions, a legend of the game was overlooked. 

And truth be told, that really is the case. For Dane van Niekerk isn’t some ordinary player; she’s a hero for South Africa, an inspiration in the women’s game and perhaps according to eight out of ten, a role model figure. 

Had, figuratively speaking, the young cricketer been made to play in the most coveted cricket competition of 2023, she may have struck the 123 runs needed to touch yet another career milestone: 2000 runs in the shortest format. 

She’d already collected 65 wickets from 82 T20I outings for her country and with must gusto and pride, never with anger or aggression. 

This path breaking leggie also has to her name a rather ominous bowling spell, which came against the Windies women and that too, in the elite women’s ODI World Cup stage in 2017. 

On July 2, 2017, aged just 24, she took four wickets in a mind boggling spell of 3.2 overs where she didn’t concede a run. 

Let that sink in. She didn’t give away even a single whilst single handedly dismantling the West Indies

But while her cricketing prowess is never a question, what’s certainly gathered some discussion is her fitness. 

Dane van Niekerk had, right before the start of the 2022 women’s ODI World Cup, picked up a fracture in a sudden accident at her own residence back in South Africa

The result? She couldn’t play for the country in the tournament of epic proportions. 

This time around, whatever call the selectors have taken and truly, as fans we have no right to judge the call, she’s broken. She’s dejected. 

It’s out there for all to see. 

Dane van Niekerk hadn’t picked up a new injury. But it’s believed – though there are no confirmed reports- that she wasn’t yet a hundred per cent fit. 

Perhaps, again confirmation is sought, not fit enough to represent her country at the highest echelons of the sport. 

Which is why her usual deputy Sune Luus is the leader for the Proteas, which, truth be told, has been a common sight especially in the post-Covid world. 

But again, Dane’s absence isn’t just another setback for South Africa. It’s a huge step backwards from getting a grasp around the trophy they’d so like to grab. 

No longer is Lizelle Lee a part of the side; the big hitting right hander called time on her career last year. 

The likes of Lara Goodall and Andrie Steyn, the latter with just 5 T20I’s to her name, are yet to fully settle in the short format. 

Gladly, there’s Mignon du Preez around and she’s a true legend of the sport, but also one who announced her retirement from ODI’s and Tests. But will the experienced figurehead of South African cricket be picked in the T20 World Cup squad. We don’t know yet though one certainly hopes she is. 

Especially now that there’s a massive absence in the Protea camp. 

Maybe one that could well have sparked the Protea fire in a series where it all matters. 


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Cricket is a game played by 22 but opined by millions.Caught At Point will try to inform you and humour you on the game’s newsmakers, trends and, emerging patterns. Expect those deserving praise to be celebrated and expect tons of ‘arsehattery’ gifted to those who’ve earned it.I’ll cricket sincerely,Dev Tyagi

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