Sydney Sixers to part ways with Marizanne Kapp, Dane van Niekerk

Kalyani Mangale
17 Jun 2021
Sydney Sixers to part ways with Marizanne Kapp, Dane van Niekerk

Kapp and van Niekerk playing for Sydney Sixers © Getty Images

Sydney Sixers will begin the seventh edition of Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) without their long-time international duo Marizanne Kapp and Dane van Niekerk, confirmed Sixers coach Ben Sawyer to cricket.com.au. The club's desire to go in a new direction after missing out on the semi-finals round for two consecutive seasons is the reason to let go off the two South African stars.

Kapp has been a vital part of the Sixers since the inaugural season where the Sixers made it to the final. van Niekerk, who played for Melbourne Renegades in WBBL01, joined her South African teammate in the second season of the competition. Kapp has played 83 matches in magenta scoring 829 runs and bagging 90 wickets. Meanwhile, van Niekerk amassed 961 runs in 76 matches to go with her 74 wickets. The two South Africans were part of the team that won the WBBL in 2016/17 and 2017/18.

"Dane and Kappie were wonderful players for us and were a big part of two championships," Sawyer was quoted as saying. "However, after not making the semi-finals for the past two seasons, we feel we needed a change and both these players were off contract at the time."

Earlier in May, espncricinfo reported that India's opener Shafali Verma is in line to make her WBBL with the team in magenta and Radha Yadav is also being in considered for her maiden stint in the league. Sawyer, who was at the helm when they won those two titles, said they haven't been signed yet but the Sixers have expressed their interest in the India duo.

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"We feel that adding to an already extremely strong top-order would strengthen our chances even more and an international spinner, preferably a left-arm orthodox spinner, would also make us extremely strong, as this type of bowler always proves effective in the WBBL," Sawyer added.

Sixers, one of the more successful side in the competition, has a settled opening pair in skipper Ellyse Perry and wicket-keeper Alyssa Healy. Allrounder Ashleigh Gardner is the other marquee player in the side. With Gardner sitting out for many matches due to concussion and Erin Burns, who lost her contract with Australia, suffering a dip in form they didn't make it the semi-final of WBBL06 after having failed to do so in the fifth edition.

They have been criticised in the past for their batting being top-heavy and lacking the fire power other than these three Australian marquee players. Sawyer feels having some one like Verma, currently number one ranked T20I batter, will allow them to have more fire power even if she doesn't necessarily open for the Sydney side.

"We have so many middle-order and allrounders at the Sixers … and we feel we're strong in the bowling department, so it's not necessarily that (we are looking for) an opener, but an out-and-out batter for the top order," Sawyer concluded.

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Sydney Sixers current squad: Ellyse Perry, Ashleigh Gardner, Alyssa Healy, Erin Burns, Stella Campbell, Lauren Cheatle, Emma Hughes, Hayley Silver-Holmes

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