South Africa suffered a blow ahead of the upcoming World Cup with fast bowler Anrich Nortje being ruled out of the tournament due to a fractured thumb.
Nortje will need six to eight weeks to make a full recovery according to SA team manager Dr. Mohammed Moosajee.
“Anrich sustained a fracture to his right thumb during a net session in Port Elizabeth on Monday. He immediately consulted a hand surgeon and underwent surgery to stabilise the joint and will unfortunately be side-lined for up to eight weeks. This makes him unavailable for the upcoming ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.”
“It is an unfortunate and freakish injury, especially because he had made a successful recovery from the shoulder injury he sustained during the series against Sri Lanka. He has had a few injury setbacks in the last year but knowing Anrich’s character, he will be motivated to come back stronger. We wish him a speedy recovery,” said Dr. Moosajee.
All-rounder Chris Morris has been named as Nortje’s replacement in the 15-man squad for the mega-event, commencing on May 30 in the UK. Morris is currently playing at the Indian Premier League (IPL) with Delhi Capitals (DC), for whom he has taken 13 wickets in nine games this season.
CSA National Selection Panel convener Linda Zondi, on Tuesday, revealed that Chris was always in the side’s plans.
“Chris has always been in our plans and is our next best option with the ball,” Zondi said.
“He has the pace and death-bowling skills which will be vital in the UK, and also gives us that depth as a deadly finisher with the bat. We have had concerns around his injuries and workload capabilities but this is an opportunity for him to make a mark on the biggest stage. Admittedly, the injuries ahead of the tournament have been frustrating but I continue to have confidence that the players we have selected will make the country proud.
“It is unfortunate what has happened to Anrich, he is a talented player with exciting potential. We wish him well on his road to recovery and have no doubt that he will bounce back to fulfill his potential,” he added.
South Africa also have injury concerns over Lungi Ngidi (missed the entire IPL with a side strain), Dale Steyn (returned from IPL with a shoulder injury) and Kagiso Rabada (returned from IPL with back niggle).
Here’s the updated South Africa squad for the 2019 World Cup:
Faf du Plessis (c), JP Duminy, David Miller, Dale Steyn, Andile Phehlukwayo, Imran Tahir, Kagiso Rabada, Dwaine Pretorius, Quinton de Kock (wk), Chris Morris, Lungi Ngidi, Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Hashim Amla, Tabraiz Shamsi.