• Steyn ruled out of World Cup opener

    South Africa will be without fast bowler Dale Steyn for Thursday’s World Cup opening fixture against England at The Oval in London.

    Steyn has been sidelined by a shoulder injury sustained during a stint with the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League earlier this year.

    ‘He is not fully ready yet and we feel that in a six-week tournament there is no need to press the issue right now,’ said head coach Ottis Gibson.

    ‘We know that he is close and is getting closer every day. We will give him as much time as we can for him to get ready. We are hoping that he will be ready on Sunday against Bangladesh, but if not, then against India.’

    Steyn, who has taken the fifth-most wickets for South Africa in World Cup cricket, will likely be replaced by all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius, or late addition Chris Morris. Morris was added to the squad as a replacement for the injured Anrich Nortje.

    ‘We looked at the pitch today and it’s got a tinge of green to it. I suspect over the next two days that might change. At the moment we have three all-rounders – Morris, Andile Phehlukwayo and Pretorius – one of those three could come into the equation and we also have wrist spinner Tabraiz Shamsi, he could also come in to the equation,’ added Gibson.

    Fellow fast bowler Kagiso Rabada, meanwhile, has recovered from back spasms endured during the Delhi Capitals’ IPL campaign.

    Photo: Gallo Images

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