Van Niekerk returns for tour of New Zealand

Dane van Niekerk returns to the South Africa squad on their tour of New Zealand beginning on January 25. The allrounder, who last played an international in February last year, will lead the team in a series consisting of three ODIs that are part of the ICC ODI Championship.

The strong 15-member squad also sees the return of vice-captain Chloe Tryon, while the pace duo of Marizanne Kapp and Ayabonga Khakha are also fit to travel to New Zealand.

Following a difficult 2019 where she was constantly sidelined due to injury, van Niekerk ended the year playing for Sydney Sixers in the Women’s Big Bash League. The allrounder scored 125 runs and took nine wickets in what was a rather disappointing season for the Sixers.

The duo of van Niekerk and Tryon replace Tazmin Brits and Lara Goodall in the squad that toured India last October. Not only do they bring a great deal of experience to the set up, but also add depth to the squad with their allround abilities.

During their tour of India, South Africa largely struggled with the bat, over-reliant on Mignon du Preez, Lizelle Lee, Trisha Chetty and Marizanne Kapp. With the added experience, the likes of Nadine de Klerk and Nondumiso Shangase will be able to play with more freedom and assurance than before. They will all be hoping to put in much improved performances against New Zealand.

Currently fifth in the championship table – tied with Pakistan on 16 points – South Africa have the chance to leapfrog the Asian nation and directly secure their spot in the 2021 ICC Women’s World Cup in New Zealand.

On this tour of New Zealand, South Africa will play their first and second ODI at Eden Park Outer Oval in Auckland, with the last ODI taking place at Seddon Park in Hamilton.

Squad: Dane van Niekerk (c), Laura Wolvaardt, Lizelle Lee, Mignon du Preez, Sune Luus, Chloe Tryon, Shabnim Ismail, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Tumi Sekhukhune, Trisha Chetty, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Nadine De Klerk, Nondumiso Shangase, Marizanne Kapp.

Fixtures:

25 January: 1st ODI, Auckland
27 January: 2nd ODI, Auckland
30 January
: 3rd ODI, Hamilton