Former South Africa international captain Dane van Niekerk has called curtains on a glorious international career.
Van Niekerk represented South Africa from 2009 to 2021.
The 29-year-old played a solitary Test, 107 ODIs and 86 T20Is for the country, making some vital contributions. 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 2021. The former skipper was a notable omission from their squad for the ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2023.
Van Niekerk posted a story on Instagram hinting at the decision.
"You have to accept that some chapters in our lives have to close without closures," van Niekerk posted on Saturday, without explicitly announcing her retirement. "There is no point in losing yourself by trying to fix what's meant to stay broken."
End of an era.. 💔 pic.twitter.com/nefrlzussr— Marizanne Kapp (@kappie777) March 11, 2023
Van Niekerk failed to pass the fitness benchmark set by Cricket South Africa and was left out of the Proteas' 15-player squad for the T20 World Cup at home.
Sune Luus, who had taken over the reins of the Proteas Women's team in van Niekerk's absence, was named the captain, with the Proteas making it to the final.
In a statement making her retirement official, van Niekerk said, "It is with great sadness that I announce my retirement from international cricket.
“It has been the greatest honour to lead and represent my country. I am incredibly blessed to have led the team through its transformative years. There is no doubt that the women’s game is in an exciting space and looking forward to seeing this beautiful game that I love grow.
“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."
She will continue to participate in franchise cricket, where she is currently a member of the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad in the inaugural edition of the Women's Premier League.