Ottis Gibson says Anrich Nortje will be on standby for the World Cup despite his injury, writes KHALID MOHIDIN.
The 25-year-old has had a horrid season of injuries. After bursting on to the scene, bowling at speeds of 150 km/h consistently in the Mzansi Super League, the young speedster impressed for the Cape Town Blitz.
He even made the likes of Proteas legend AB de Villiers think twice before taking him on. His tournament, however, was disrupted by a foot injury, which ruled him out of the MSL. The Blitz were defeated in the final.
After his recovery, Nortje got a national call-up to participate in the Proteas final ODI tour before the World Cup. He impressed, showing good control and finished with eight wickets in four matches at an average of 18.75 and an economy of 4.76.
His performances earned him an invitation to the IPL, but that, too, was ended prematurely, the youngster ruled out of the tournament with a shoulder injury.
His World Cup call-up was followed by the unfortunate news that he would be replaced by Chris Morris after picking up a thumb injury while on his road to full fitness.
‘I spoke to him last week, he was obviously devastated. From now till the end of the World Cup is eight weeks. I’ve been told by the medics that his recovery period is four to six weeks,’ said Gibson on Tuesday.
‘He was in the squad and [Chris] Morris was on standby. Now Morris goes into the squad and therefore he goes on standby.
‘If something happens to someone at the back end of the tournament, then we still have an opportunity perhaps to pick him if his thumb is fully healed.
‘I spoke to him last week and told him exactly that. So it just gives him something to look forward to, otherwise his winter will be quite a terrible one, thinking that he had an opportunity to go to the World Cup and he missed out.
‘So it gives him that little bit of positivity that there is still a possibility if what happens to him happens to someone else, then he still has that opportunity to feature in the latter stages.’
Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images