South Africa women’s captain Dane van Niekerk and allrounder Chloe Tryon have been administered out of the forthcoming ODI and T20I arrangement at home against Pakistan as they recuperate from back injuries. A third player who can’t be named due to doctor-patient confidentiality will also miss the series due to her covid-19 positive report.
The remaining players have returned testing COVID-19 negative and have entered into the bio-bubble in Durban. All the six matches will be played at Kingsmead after it was announced that one ODI and two T20Is would take place in Pietermaritzburg. The change is likely to ensure that the teams are back in Durban before South Africa’s COVID-19 curfew to come into effect from 9 pm and also to avoid the arrangements of another venue for the teams.
“Both Dane and Chloe sustained lower back injuries in September and both are [at] different stages of rehabilitation. They are progressing well but will not be available for this series,” Tshegofatso Gaetsewe, South Africa’s team doctor, said.
“They are doing well – just not eligible for this tour. Everything about their rehabilitation is on track,” Gaetsewe added.
Marizanne Kapp, who suffered a health issue during WBBL and was taken to hospital with low pulse rate is now back and has already joined team’s camp. “She is in good condition and her health issues have been taken care of. Anything subsequent that she needs she will get but for now everything is ok. She is in good health and we don’t anticipate any problems,” Gaetsewe said.
Coach Hilton Moreeng said that the absence of van Niekerk and Tryon is a “very big setback”, especially, because of the scarcity of fixtures on the calendar. Because of the same problem, the Pakistan series is the only confirmed series for South Africa in 2021 so far.
“One reason is that you don’t know how the year is going to pan out because of the virus,” Moreeng said. “When there is an opportunity to play cricket you want to have all your best players available because you don’t know when you’re going to have another opportunity. From another perspective, the players who are going to get opportunities can show what they can do and that will make us stronger.”
Sune Luus is yet to be declared as a replacement by the management. Sune Luus led the team in ten ODIs and nine T20s between 2017 and 2019 including in a series against Pakistan where South Africa won by 3-2.
Moreeng further added, “We know in the past Suné Luus did a really good job but it is something that will be discussed closer to the time. For now, we are just making sure we get everyone prepped for the upcoming series.”
South Africa has not played any series since March 2020, but players are in good form, as seen during the Women Big Bash League (WBBL). Even Pakistan has also not played a single since March and they have to ensure that they to perform well to secure a position in the tournament. Additionally, Pakistan is also slated to play a home series against England.