Van Niekerk, 29, has not played international cricket since September 2021. “It is with great sadness that I announce my retirement from international cricket,” she said in a statement issued by CSA. “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.”
It was Kapp who first raised the alarm of van Niekerk’s retirement when she tweeted an “End of Era” message on Saturday followed by van Niekerk’s sharing an Instagram story suggesting her time in the international game was done. “You have to accept that some chapters in our lives have to close without closures,” van Niekerk posted. “There is no point in losing yourself by trying to fix what’s meant to stay broken.”
The couple has put up several messages since, culminating in Kapp’s this morning in which she said her “heart breaks,” for her wife, who “deserves so much better,” and van Niekerk’s which read “that’s all,” alongside a heartbroken emoji.
Van Niekerk also thanked Kapp in her retirement statement and pledged her support to her as she enters the prime of her career. ESPNcricinfo understands that Kapp remains committed to playing for South Africa and is expected to sign a new contract. “My wife, Marizanne, you have stood by my side since day one. Thank you for putting up with me and all that came with it, but yet, here you are. You are at the pinnacle of your career and it is my time to support you, the way you have supported me. I love you,” van Niekerk said.
“I would like to take this opportunity to graciously thank Dané for all her years of service and contribution to not only the ground-breaking success of the Momentum Proteas over the last decade, but to the overall growth and popularity of women’s cricket in South Africa and around the world,” Nkwe said. “Her world-class cricketing ability and exceptional leadership skills are irrefutable and will surely be missed by her team-mates, coaches and all South African fans who have followed her journey over the last 14 years. We wish Dané all the very best ahead of the next chapter in her career.”
CSA will confirm their women’s contract list next week.