Dane van Niekerk will return from an injury break to lead South Africa’s 15-member squad in the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017, Cricket South Africa announced on Tuesday (May 23).
Van Niekerk had a Type 1 tear of the plantar capsule that forced her to miss the quadrangular series at home, the final of which the hosts lost to India on Sunday.
The selectors retained faith in the same squad that won all but two matches in the quadrangular series. Thus, Raisibe Ntozakhe, the 20-year-old offspinner, and Nadine de Klerk, 17, the allrounder, who made their One-Day International debuts this month, will be among those making the trip to England and Wales.
Andrie Steyn, 20, who celebrated her return to the side for the quadrangular with a 117 at the top of the order against Ireland, keeps her place.
In Laura Wolvaardt, the other centurion of the series, Sune Luus, the player of the tournament at the World Cup Qualifier earlier this year, and Trisha Chetty, who had two fifties against her name this month, they have players in good form going into the tournament starting on June 24. Van Niekerk, Chetty, Mignon du Preez, Marizanne Kapp and Shabnim Ismail bring experience.
“It’s taken the better part of the last 24 months to build what we have now and I believe that we finally have the winning formula,” said Hilton Moreeng, the coach. “The balance in the side is just right.
“This year’s squad, led by Dané, has spent a lot of time together and we have a lot of game time under our belts,” he continued. “I’m very happy and proud to have the two youngsters, Raisibe and Nadine in the fold. They proved their worth during the quadrangular series and announced themselves well to international cricket.
“They are the perfect example of hard work paying off and how doing all the right things can reap just rewards. We’re looking forward to getting to England and making our nation proud.”
South Africa sealed their place in the World Cup after finishing second in the qualifier in Sri Lanka. They open their campaign against Pakistan on June 25 in Leicester.
South Africa Women squad: Dane van Niekerk (capt), Trisha Chetty (wk), Moseline Daniels, Marizanne Kapp, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Shabnim Ismail, Nadine de Klerk, Lizelle Lee, Sune Luus, Raisibe Ntozhake, Mignon du Preez, Andrie Steyn, Chloe Tryon, Laura Wolvaardt.