S Africa's Van Niekerk out of World Cup

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South Africa have been dealt a heavy blow ahead of the 2022 Women's Cricket World Cup after captain Dane van Niekerk was ruled out of the tournament with an injury sustained as she slipped and fell while at home.

The experienced van Niekerk, who helped Adelaide Strikers reach the WBBL final in November, has a left ankle fracture, ruling her out for a minimum of three months.

Her absence will be keenly felt by the side in terms of her contribution with the bat, ball and as captain.

"The injury is a result of an accidental slip on a wet surface at home," team doctor Tshegofatso Gaetsewe said in a media release from Cricket South Africa on Thursday.

"As things stand, she doesn't require surgery but will be monitored closely. It's a stable fracture with minimal displacement and her recovery timeline is no less than 12 weeks."

The World Cup will be staged in New Zealand from March 4 with South Africa currently placed second in the ICC's One-Day International world rankings behind runaway leaders Australia.

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