Sune Luus, who led South Africa to the Women’s T20 World Cup final this year, has stepped down as captain ahead of their tour to Pakistan.

While Luus is part of the 15-member squad that will tour Pakistan for a white-ball series in two weeks time, the decision to not name her skipper is a new twist in an ongoing captaincy saga.

Luus has been South Africa Women’s interim skipper until 2022, largely as a replacement for Dane van Niekerk, who had spent most of 2020 injured, and last played in 2021. An attempt to feature in the 2023 T20 World Cup didn’t materialise due to a controversial fitness trial, and she retired in March this year.

Luus was named her permanent successor ahead of the home World Cup, and led them to the final.

In the latest Cricket South Africa press release, though, there was no clarity over why Luus wasn’t named captain, stating she “will no longer continue her interim captaincy”, despite being largely understood to be their permanent skipper.

Later, ESPNcricinfo were provided a clarification by CSA spokesperson, who said Luus herself had “asked to step aside to focus on her cricket”, with the piece additionally speculating that Luus did not want to continue the responsibility under the current management. It is in alignment with reported calls from a group of players who have requested a change to the coaching staff, especially head coach Hilton Moreeng, who continues in his role into the 11th year.

After Luus, the next obvious name was Chloe Tyron, her vice-captain after van Niekerk’s retirement. Tyron herself has led the side in six T20Is between 2018 and 2022, and four ODIs (2017 to 2018) mostly in interim capacity. However, she has made herself unavailable for the tour, complicating the captaincy situation further.

For the three ODIs and as many T20Is, South Africa will now announce a new captain. According to ESPNcricinfo, Luus’ successor could be Laura Wolvaardt. One of the side’s finest young batters, the 24-year-old Wolvaardt hasn’t led the side ever in international cricket, nor has she captained ever in T20s.

South Africa squad for Pakistan: Anneke Bosch, Tazmin Brits, Nadine de Klerk, Mieke de Ridder, Lara Goodall, Sinalo Jafta, Marizanne Kapp, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Suné Luus, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Tumi Sekhukhune, Nondumiso Shangase, Delmi Tucker, Laura Wolvaardt.