Huge blow for Proteas women, skipper Dane van Niekerk out of World Cup with freak injury

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South African all-rounder Dane van Niekerk
South African all-rounder Dane van Niekerk
Isuru Sameera/Gallo Images

The Proteas women have been dealt with a massive blow as skipper Dane van Niekerk has been ruled out of this month's West Indies tour and the Women's World Cup.

Van Niekerk sustained a left ankle fracture last week after slipping on a wet surface at home, and she will be out for a minimum of three months.

This means that the Proteas women will be without their experienced captain for the upcoming West Indies tour and the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup in New Zealand set for 4 March.

On Thursday, Cricket South Africa (CSA) named a 21-player training squad as they prepare for West Indies' inbound tour, which gets under way later this month in Johannesburg.

The Proteas women will take on the West Indies in four ODIs from 28 January to 6 February in a bio-secure bubble.

Proteas team doctor Tshegofatso Gaetsewe stated that while the all-rounder does not require surgery, she'll be out of the Proteas' busy summer.

"The injury is a result of an accidental slip on a wet surface at home," said Gaetsewe in a press release.

"As things stand, she doesn't require surgery but will be monitored closely. It's a stable fracture with minimal displacement and her recovery timeline is no less than 12 weeks."

Despite Van Niekerk's injury, the Proteas still boast a formidable side, with the likes of Lizelle Lee, Shabnim Ismail, Laura Wolvaardt and Marizanne Kapp expected to continue their fine 2021 form.

A replacement captain has not been named. 

Meanwhile, at the ongoing training camp, the Proteas women have given uncapped Western Province batter Delmari Tucker an opportunity with spinner Raisibe Ntozakhe also returning to South Africa's fold.

"We are delighted to come together as a group again in the New Year to prepare for the West Indies tour and most importantly for the upcoming World Cup," said Convenor of Selectors, Clinton du Preez.

"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.

"Losing Dané 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 Proteas women will take on West Indies counterparts in an unofficial warm-up match, before playing four ODIs. All the one-dayers will be broadcast live on SuperSport and SABC.

Proteas training camp squad:

Anneke Bosch (Senwes Dragons), Tazmin Brits (Senwes Dragons), Trisha Chetty (KwaZulu-Natal Coastal), Nadine de Klerk (Western Province), Mignon du Preez (Titans Ladies), Lara Goodall (Western Province), Shabnim Ismail (KwaZulu-Natal Coastal ), Sinalo Jafta (Western Province), Marizanne Kapp (Eastern Province), Ayabonga Khaka (Central Gauteng Lions), Masabata Klaas (Senwes Dragons), Lizelle Lee (Senwes Dragons), Sune Luus (Titans Ladies), Nonkululeko Mlaba (KwaZulu-Natal Coastal), Raisibe Ntozakhe (Imperial Central Gauteng Lions), Tumi Sekhukhune (Imperial Central Gauteng Lions) Nondumiso Shangase (KwaZulu-Natal Coastal), Andrie Steyn (Western Province), Chloe Tryon (KwaZulu-Natal Coastal), Delmari Tucker (Western Province), Laura Wolvaardt (Western Province) 

Momentum Proteas vs West Indies series schedule:

Tuesday, 25 January Warm-Up Match: South Africa XI vs West Indies XI (10:00)

Friday, 28 January - 1st Women's ODI (D/N) - South Africa vs West Indies (14:00) 

Monday, 31 January - 2nd Women's ODI - South Africa vs West Indies (10:00)

Thursday, 03 February - 3rd Women's ODI (D/N): South Africa vs West Indies (14:00)

Sunday, 06 February - 4th Women's ODI: South Africa vs West Indies (10:00)

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