In a major blow to the South African cricket team, fast bowlers Anrich Nortje and Sisanda Magala have been ruled out of the upcoming ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 in India.
Nortje, who has been a key player for the Proteas, has been diagnosed with a suspected low back stress fracture and will now be under the care of a specialist team to determine the next steps in his recovery.
The 29-year-old seamer experienced lower back spasms during the second ODI against Australia earlier this month.
Following the match, Nortje underwent specialist assessments and scans, which revealed the extent of his injury. The team management and medical staff have decided that it is in Nortje’s best interest to focus on his rehabilitation and ensure a full recovery before returning to competitive cricket.
Magala, who was part of the recent white-ball tour against Australia, was also given every opportunity to recover from his injury and participate in the World Cup.
However, after careful consideration, it was deemed that the risk associated with his inclusion in the squad outweighed his obvious value to the team. This decision was not taken lightly, as Magala has been a consistent performer for South Africa in limited-overs cricket.
Reacting to the news, white-ball head coach Rob Walter expressed his disappointment at the absence of Nortje and Magala from the World Cup squad. He acknowledged their skills and the value they bring to the team, and assured them of the necessary support during their recovery process.
Despite the setback, South Africa has named two promising replacements in the finalised 15-player squad. Dolphins all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo and Titans seam bowler Lizaad Williams have been given the opportunity to represent their country on the global stage. Both players have been part of the team’s winter programs and have recently featured in the white-ball tour against Australia.
Phehlukwayo, known for his ability to contribute with both bat and ball, brings a valuable skill set to the team. His experience in international cricket and his consistent performances in domestic cricket make him a strong contender for a place in the playing XI.
Williams, on the other hand, is a talented seam bowler who has impressed with his pace and accuracy. His ability to generate movement off the pitch and his knack for picking up crucial wickets make him a valuable asset for the Proteas.
The inclusion of Phehlukwayo and Williams in the squad reflects the team management’s confidence in their abilities. It also highlights the depth of talent in South African cricket and the team’s commitment to building a strong squad for the World Cup.
As the Proteas prepare for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, they will be hoping for a speedy recovery for Nortje and Magala. The absence of these two key players will undoubtedly be felt, but the team remains optimistic and determined to put up a strong performance in the tournament.