Proteas confident CSA's dreaded time trial won't derail Dane's T20 World Cup dream

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Dane van Niekerk. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)
Dane van Niekerk. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images)
  • Dane van Niekerk's failure to reach CSA's 2km time trail fitness marker doesn't put her selection for the Proteas' T20 World Cup squad in mortal peril. 
  • She'll be given an opportunity next week to prove her fitness.
  • National coach Hilton Moreeng says she remains a key player in the setup.


Cricket South Africa's (CSA) dreaded 2km time trail won't derail Dane van Niekerk's opportunity to still captain the Proteas women at the ICC T20 World Cup, which kicks off on South African soil next month.

At least that's head coach Hilton Moreeng's hope after the talismanic 29-year-old all-rounder was left out of the squad for the tri-nation series against India and the West Indies starting on Thursday because she failed to reach the threshold for the aforementioned fitness marker.

That requirement, which has been doubled down on since Enoch Nkwe took over as CSA's director of cricket, has led to much controversy in the local game over the past year or so.

READ | Luus named skipper, Van Niekerk misses out as Proteas women name squad for tri-series

Female cricketers must complete the trial in 9 minutes 30 seconds, while their male counterparts have to do so in a minute less.

Dashing opener Lizelle Lee retired from international cricket last year after being discarded from the Proteas squad for failing a fitness test and later explained she felt victimised.

Sisanda Magala, the influential Lions all-rounder, has belatedly found his way back into the men's ODI squad for the series against England after passing his latest time trial but previously also fell foul despite continuing to perform well on the domestic circuit.

Van Niekerk hasn't played at international level since breaking her ankle in January 2022, but did participate in The Hundred and is understood to have slimmed down significantly for next month's showpiece.

"We believe she'll be ready," said Moreeng.

"That's why she has been given all the opportunity to make sure she is ready, so she can get through the fitness test and make sure she is part of the group. She was part of the camp and she trained with us. She is working hard to make sure she is in that squad."

Van Niekerk will undergo her fitness test next Friday.

Asked whether the rigid fitness criteria, which some still validly argue doesn't fully take into account a person's unique body composition, is fair, Moreen was diplomatic.

"We believe it's fair. Every member of the squad knows what is required, even at the domestic level. It's where we are as a team and as a country, it's the direction we are moving to. It's to make sure each and every player, as far as the minimum standards are concerned, meets them," he said.

"It's criteria that have been designed and given to players all around the country. It's one of those that tests your strength and aerobic side of things to make sure players will be able to deal with whatever demands the game gives them on a daily basis. It's all to make sure the player has the best possible time to perform." 

The Proteas mentor though left little room for doubt about Van Niekerk's importance.

"She is a quality cricketer. Any environment will be blessed to have her."


We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
loading... Live
South Africa 298/7
England 143/0
Voting Booth
Should Dewald Brevis have been included in the Proteas squad for the upcoming England ODI series?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Definitely! He is clearly a superstar, so what are we waiting for?
14% - 2550 votes
Not yet! Brevis needs to spend some time playing domestic cricket first.
4% - 728 votes
Who is Dewald Brevis?
83% - 15467 votes
Vote
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE