South African cricket team faced a huge blow ahead of the upcoming ICC World Cup as their pacer, Anrich Nortje has been ruled out of the mega event due to the hand injury. Which he sustained during a practice session in Port Elizabeth. He fractured his right thumb while practicing in the nets, and will need six to eight weeks to make a full recovery. In his place, Chris Morris, the all-rounder, has been called up for the World Cup.
Describing the injury, South Africa team manager, Dr. Mohammed Moosajee said, “Anrich sustained a fracture to his right thumb during a net session in Port Elizabeth on Monday. 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. We wish him a speedy recovery.”
Morris will be replacing the youngster played his last ODI for South Africa in February 2018 and has been going through a rough patch in the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) as well, while playing his trade for Delhi Capitals (DC). However, but South Africa will hope he can provide them with the X-factor.
Commenting on the decision, Cricket South Africa (CSA) National Selection Panel convener, Linda Zondi said: “Chris has always been in our plans and is our next best option with the ball. 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. 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.”
Nortje’s injury will come as a big blow for South Africa as his pace and bounce could’ve troubled other teams. Their current pace stock of Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi and Dale Steyn are also nursing or just returned to fitness from injuries. Both Rabada and Steyn played in IPL only to return home with niggles. Ngidi was ruled out of the complete tournament even before it began with a side strain.
Incidentally, Nortje also failed to play for KKR ahead of IPL due to the shoulder injury. Sadly for him, the thumb injury with the World Cup just days away left the CSA with no choice than to bring in Morris as a replacement.