Dane van Niekerk ‘absolutely broken’ to miss World Cup over fitness standards

South Africa captain Dane van Niekerk says she is “absolutely broken” after being left out of her country’s T20 World Cup squad for failing to meet fitness standards.

Van Niekerk’s convalescence from a broken ankle has contributed to her absence for the Proteas since September 2021 but she was left out of a tri-series to face India and the West Indies this month.

Given another opportunity to prove her fitness, the all-rounder, who has made 194 appearances in all formats for her country, was unable to complete a two-kilometre run in the minimum required time.

“Dane was given an extensive opportunity to meet the minimum criteria for the fitness benchmark,” selector Clinton du Preez told reporters.

“Everyone is quite familiar with the situation and what is required. In December, we set it out clearly with where she needs to be. Dane will always be missed on the cricket field. We have reminded her of that.

“We also appreciate the effort she tried to put into meeting the fitness level.”

Sune Luus will continue to captain South Africa in Van Niekerk’s absence.

Van Niekerk wrote on her social media pages: “Absolutely BROKEN..”

Lizelle Lee announced her international retirement last year, telling the BBC failing a weight test was a factor in her decision, saying: “Emotionally that’s just so draining and I couldn’t do it any more.”