• Awkward Abbott reminder

    Fast bowler Kyle Abbott’s fine form for Hampshire in England is an awkward reminder of what the Proteas could’ve had during the ongoing World Cup in the same country.

    Abbott relished a first-innings six-wicket haul on day one of a key County Championship Division One fixture against Nottingham on Sunday. The haul propelled him to fifth position among 2019’s Division One wicket-takers.

    Abbott was controversially replaced by all-rounder Vernon Philander for South Africa’s 2015 World Cup semi-final against New Zealand – and two years later ended a burgeoning Proteas career by signing a Kolpak contract with Hampshire.

    He was integral to Hampshire’s 2019 One-Day Cup campaign, too, which ended in defeat to Somerset in last month’s final at Lord’s in London.

    The Proteas, meanwhile, have suffered a disastrous start to the World Cup. They have lost to England, Bangladesh and India – and are in severe danger of not reaching the semi-finals. They have lost the services of fast bowlers Anrich Nortje and Dale Steyn, who have been sidelined by injury, and might be without pace ace Lungi Ngidi for Monday’s match against the West Indies at the Rose Bowl in Southampton. Ngidi is nursing the hurt hamstring that prevent his participation against India last week.

    Photo: Getty Images

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