- Nortje loses fitness race as South Africa’s bowling attack suffer double blow
- Magala also out of World Cup Squad
- Phehlukwayo and Williams called up
South African fast bowler Anrich Nortje’s hopes for the ICC Cricket World Cup in India have been dashed as he has been ruled out of the tournament. Another blow for the South African squad is the withdrawal of fellow pacer Sisanda Magala, 32, due to an injury.
Nortje misses second consecutive World Cup
Despite being initially named in the Proteas’ provisional squad for the competition, which is set to commence on October 5th, Nortje’s fitness levels are not deemed sufficient for him to travel.
This marks the second consecutive World Cup that Nortje will miss, owing to a persistent back problem.
Both Nortje and Magala played crucial roles in the recent 3-2 home one-day international series victory against Australia. Nortje’s absence in the 2019 World Cup was due to a fractured thumb, and Cricket SA noted, “It was decided that the risk associated with his inclusion in the squad outweighed his obvious value to the team.”
Magala’s contribution was limited in the series against Australia, owing to a knee issue, allowing him to bowl just four overs in the third ODI.
In response to these setbacks, South Africa’s white-ball coach, Rob Walter, has called up all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo and fast bowler Lizaad Williams to fill the vacant spots in the 15-man squad. While Walter expressed his disappointment at losing Nortje and Magala, he also stated, “This provides an opportunity for Andile and Lizaad on the global stage. They offer great skill sets.”
South Africa is scheduled to kick off their World Cup campaign on Saturday, October 7th, facing Sri Lanka in Delhi. The absence of Nortje and Magala will undoubtedly be felt, but fans will be eager to see how the newcomers seize this chance to make their mark on the international stage.
Both Nortje and Magala were an important part of South Africa’s squad, having played key roles in the series win over Australia. Their absence will undoubtedly weaken their bowling attack ahead of the World Cup. However, it is an opportunity for other members of a talented squad to step up and perform at the highest level.
At the time of writing, Betway have South Africa at 10/1 to win the World Cup, sixth favourites out of the 10 teams competing.
Check out the best Cricket World Cup betting sites with Betting.com