With the 2019 World Cup less than a month away, South Africa have suffered a vital blow as fast bowler Anrich Nortje has been ruled out of the upcoming tournament. The speedster has been pulled out of the 50-overs quadrennial event due to a hand injury which he sustained during a practice session recently in Port Elizabeth. In the aftermath, Nortje has fractured his right thumb while training in the nets and will require atleast six to eight weeks in order to make a full recovery.
Fast bowling all-rounder Chris Morris has been announced as the replacement for the injured Nortje. While speaking on the injury, South African team manager, Dr. Mohammed Moosajee confirmed that Anrich sustained a fracture to his right thumb during a practice session in Port Elizabeth on Monday. Moosajee mentioned that the pacer consulted a hand surgeon and also underwent surgery to stabilize the joint.
"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,” quoted Dr. Mohammed Moosajee.
Previously Nortje was forced to pull out of the 12th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) due to a shoulder injury, which he picked up during the series against Sri Lanka. Moosajee further mentioned that Nortje has been out with a few injury setbacks in the recent months, but this will work as a motivation to come back stronger.
"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," the South African team manager concluded.
Chris Morris has always been in our plans reveals Linda Zondi
While speaking on the replacement, Cricket South Africa (CSA) National Selection Panel convener, Linda Zondi, revealed that Chris Morris has always been in the consideration as he is the next best bowling option. Zondi mentioned that Morris, who is currently plying his trade with Delhi Capitals in IPL 2019, has the pace and death-bowling skills to be successful in the upcoming World Cup scheduled to start from 30thMay in England and Wales.
“Chris has always been in our plans and is our next best option with the ball. 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,” said Linda Zondi
Along with Nortje, three other premier South African pacers, Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi, are already struggling with their respective injury issues. “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,” Zondi added.