Being the captain of your national team is not the easiest task to handle, however Dane van Niekerk makes the job look effortless.
Dane van Niekerk the 23 year old cricket star born in Pretoria has made quite the impression on the cricket scene. van Niekerk made her debut while still in high school at the age of 16, managing to juggle her academic career and budding sporting career. Van Niekerk plays the role of bowler and batter for her current club; The Sydney Sixers and for the South African Women’s national team. She also takes on the role of leg spin bowler, which is not the easiest role and requires special technique.
The young star has appeared in test, the One day International (ODI) and the Twenty20 International. She has become one of the first two South African females to be added to the Eastern Province cricket Team, which was previously an all male team. In January 2013 she became the first South African woman to make an international hat-rick, in an ODI match against the West Indies. She was appointed the South African women’s captain for all forms in 2016. In 2016 van Niekerk was named South Africa’s woman cricketeer of the year.
2017 was a memorable year for the cricket star. One of the most notable achievements of her career was becoming the first ever bowler to take four wickets in international wicket history without conceding a single run, proving that there are still records for women to break in this male dominated industry. Later that year she became the leading wicket taker during the 2017 ICC women’s World Cup Tournament with 15 scalps. In 2017, van Niekerk was named as one of the players in the ICC Women’s ODI Team of the Year. Despite her busy schedule van Niekerk is pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce in management and entrepreneurship through UNISA.
Van Niekerk is a role model for many young women starting off in the sports industry proving that with hard work and passion anyone can achieve their dreams. Dane has been vocal in talks about making the sports industry equal for men and women, which will help hopeful female cricketeers of the future.
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PINKSTIG celebrates Dane van Niekerk for reaching this milestone in her professional career and continues to explore the world of oppotunities with her set of cricket skills’
written by Mika Naidoo
Wits student Astrophysics
intern writer at UniMedia Pro