Marizanne Kapp was given “compassionate leave” by South Africa after her wife Dane van Niekerk was left off the country’s Women’s T20 World Cup team.
Van Niekerk was left out of the tournament in South Africa in February because she did not “meet the minimum fitness criteria.”
Marizanne Kapp will not play in the last Twenty20 match against India in a triangular series.
“Emotional couple of days, I am a wife FIRST and then a cricketer,” Marizanne Kapp wrote on Twitter.
“Thank you, CSA [Cricket South Africa], for letting me go home to support my wife and spend time with my family while I relax my mind and get ready for the T20 World Cup. It has always been the greatest honour of my life to stand up for my country.”
Hilton Moreeng, the coach of South Africa, said: “The leave was given so that she can be ready to play when she comes back. She is involved in the World Cup, and she cares about the World Cup.
“She needed a break for compassionate leave, and we gave it to her because we are very happy with how her skills are going right now.”
Cricket South Africa said that all-rounder Van Niekerk did not run a two-kilometer race in the required time.
She wrote on social media that she was “absolutely broken” about not making the team.
Marizanne Kapp, who is 33, and Van Niekerk, who is 29, both played in their first international games at the 2009 ICC Women’s World Cup.
They will both be at the Women’s Indian Premier League (WPL) auction, which is expected to happen at the beginning of February.
“Without her, South Africa are a worse team,” said England bowler Kate Cross, who is part of their 15-player World Cup squad, and former spinner Alex Hartley on the latest No Balls podcast.
Hartley, who was on the team that won the 2017 World Cup, said that South Africa is “a worse team without her.”
She also said, “Whether she’s fit or not, she’s a very, very good player, and if you want to win the World Cup, you want to back your players and put out your best XI.”
Cross said: “In general, it’s harder for women to stay fit than it is for men. Because of how our bodies are built, we have to keep moving a lot more than men do. We have it harder, but that’s no reason to give up. We lose fitness quicker.”
She also said that if she had a similar problem, she wouldn’t want the media to report on the details. She also said that fitness goals “are a fine line” and that the “two-kilometer is quite unrealistic in cricket because you don’t run for more than 15 seconds.”
“That’s probably your very basic fitness level, which I think you must have,” Cross said.
“If it causes you to get hurt, which hurts the team, then it’s a problem, and that’s when fitness needs to be tailored to each person.
“I also think that cricket fitness, like “fit for purpose” in cricket, looks very different from being fit.
“When I’m at my best in cricket, I can bowl 12 overs in a row, but I probably wouldn’t be at my best if I ran two kilometres.
“There’s a fine line between skill and whether you’re right for that team and can do that job.”