28-year-old van Niekerk sustained the injury when she slipped on the wet floor at home last week and has been ruled out of competitive cricket for a minimum of three months. That means she won’t be available to play in the four-match ODI series against West Indies that’s scheduled to start this month as well the World Cup in New Zealand in March.
“The injury is a result of an accidental slip on a wet surface at home. 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,” Tshegofatso Gaetsewe, South Africa team doctor said.
CSA named a 21-member squad for the training camp that’s set to start ahead of the West Indies series. Anneke Bosch, who missed the away series against the same side with an injury, returns to the mix, while other senior players like Chloe Tryon, Sune Luus, Mignon du Preez, Marizanne Kapp, Lizelle Lee and Shabnim Ismail are also part of the training squad.
“Losing Dane 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,” Clinton du Preez, convenor of selectors said.
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Uncapped Delmari Tucker, Raisibe Ntozakh are part of the training camp along with the regular names. Sune Luus or Chloe Tryon will captain the South Africa side in van Niekerk's absence although there hasn't been any official announcements.
“This (Loss of van Niekerk) brings about an opportunity for another player within the pipeline,” du Preez added. “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. 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."
South Africa training squad: Anneke Bosch, Tazmin Brits, Trisha Chetty, Nadine de Klerk, Mignon du Preez, Lara Goodall, Shabnim Ismail, Sinalo Jafta, Marizanne Kapp, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Lizelle Lee, Sune Luus, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Raisibe Ntozakhe, Tumi Sekhukhune, Nondumiso Shangase, Andrie Steyn, Chloe Tryon, Delmari Tucker, Laura Wolvaardt