Cricket South Africa announced on Tuesday that Anrich Nortje has been ruled out of the World Cup and will be replaced by Proteas all-rounder Chris Morris.
The Proteas faced a worrying situation leading up to the World Cup as Rabada joined a list of Dale Steyn, Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi on the Proteas’ injury list.
Dr Mohammed Moosajee addressed the media at the Wanderers Stadium on Tuesday to give an injury update on the Proteas’ ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup squad.
His first major announcement was that Morris will replace Nortje. The Proteas all-rounder is one of five Proteas players still in the IPL, with Rabada and Steyn both pulling out of the competition due to injury concerns.
‘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,’ said Moosajee, referring to Nortje.
‘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.’
Convenor of selectors Linda Zondi followed by explaining why Morris was the right replacement.
‘Chris has always been in our plans and is our next best option with the ball,’ he explained. ‘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. 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.
‘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 fulfil his potential,’ he concluded.
Morris is now one of three all-rounders in the side, joining Andile Phehlukwayo and Dwaine Pretorius in the 15-man squad. This will give the Proteas an option to bat much deeper and provides the Proteas with extra pace in the seam attack.
Morris’ last game for the Proteas in ODIs was against India in February 2018, although he represented the Proteas in the T20Is against Sri Lanka and Pakistan.
Squad (updated): Faf du Plessis (capt), JP Duminy, David Miller, Dale Steyn, Andile Phehlukwayo, Imran Tahir, Kagiso Rabada, Dwaine Pretorius, Quinton de Kock (wk), Chris Morris, Lungi Ngidi, Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Hashim Amla, Tabraiz Shamsi.
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