Three South Africans walk into a dressing room…. That is not a joke — it is how many members of Dane van Niekerk’s squad have been named in the International Cricket Council’s team of the 2017 World Cup.
Van Niekerk was among them, along with Marizanne Kapp and Laura Wolvaardt.
England, who beat India by nine runs in a white-knuckle final at Lord’s on Sunday, have four players in the side and another on the bench. Three Indians were named.
Leg spinner Van Niekerk was the tournament’s leading bowler with 15 scalps at an average of 10.00, an economy rate of 3.46 and a strike rate of 17.3. Fast bowler Kapp was second to Van Niekerk among the leading wicket-takers with 13. Opening batter Wolvaardt, who turned 18 in April, scored 324 runs at an average of 64.80.
SA won four of their seven matches and lost two, and reached the semifinals — where they went down to England by two wickets in a nail-biter.
There was less to celebrate in the other South African dressing room in England, which will be without JP Duminy for the rest of the Test series.
Duminy was dropped for the second Test at Trent Bridge, which SA won by 340 runs to level the series. This might spell the end of his Test career, in which he has played 46 matches and scored 2,103 runs at 32.85 with six centuries.
His last 15 completed Test innings have yielded only one century.
ICC team of the 2017 World Cup: Tamsin Beaumont (England), Laura Wolvaardt (SA), Mithali Raj (captain, India), Ellyse Perry (Australia), Sarah Taylor (England), Harmanpreet Kaur (India), Deepti Sharma (India), Marizanne Kapp (SA), Dane van Niekerk (SA), Anya Shrubsole (England), Alex Hartley (England). 12th: Natalie Sciver (England)