Former South Africa captain Dane van Niekerk has retired from international cricket at 29, having been left out of the squad for last month’s Women’s T20 World Cup due to fitness concerns.
Van Niekerk calls time on her career after playing 197 times for the national sides in all formats.
“It is with great sadness that I announce my retirement from international cricket,” she said.
“I look back on my career fondly and have made incredible memories and want to thank Cricket South Africa and all other stakeholders for your support.
“Often the journey can be lonely, painful, and emotional, but would not change it for anything. I’m grateful for what this game has given me.”
The all-rounder’s omission from South Africa’s squad for the Women’s T20 World Cup on home soil came after failing to meet fitness standards.
Van Niekerk was unable to complete a 2km run in the minimum time required by Cricket South Africa.
Her wife and team-mate Marizanne Kapp was granted compassionate leave on the eve of the T20 World Cup before returning to the squad, which eventually went on to finish runners-up after beating England in the semi-finals.
At the time of her omission, Van Niekerk said she was “absolutely broken” in a post on her Instagram account while the manner in which her being left out had been made public drew criticism from other professional women’s cricketers.
She played a solitary Test, 107 ODIs and 86 T20Is for the country, making some vital contributions but last represented South Africa in 2021. She picked up one wicket in Tests, 138 scalps in ODIs and 65 in T20Is. She was also a handy contributor with the bat, scoring 22 runs in Tests, 2175 in ODIs and 1877 in the shortest format.
Van Niekerk last represented her country in September 2021 before a broken ankle ruled her out of the 2022 Women’s 50-over World Cup in New Zealand.
She hinted at her decision to retire in an Instagram story posted on Saturday.
“You have to accept that some chapters in our lives have to close without closures,” she posted. “There is no point in losing yourself by trying to fix what’s meant to stay broken.”
Van Niekerk will continue playing franchise cricket where she is currently part of the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad in the inaugural edition of the Women’s Premier League.
The right-hander has also previously appeared for Oval Invincibles in The Hundred.