Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
South Africa have added pace bowling all-rounder Chris Morris to their World Cup squad after seamer Anrich Nortje was ruled out of the tournament with a fractured thumb.
Nortje made his international debut in March and has featured in four ODIs to date.
However, he made a serious impact in those games as he took eight wickets at an average of 18.75.
But, the 25-year-old fractured his thumb during a net session on Monday and it has been confirmed that he will need six to eight weeks to make a full recovery.
“Anrich sustained a fracture to his right thumb during a net session in Port Elizabeth on Monday,” South Africa team manager Mohammed Moosajee was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “He immediately consulted a hand surgeon and underwent surgery to stabilise the joint and will unfortunately be sidelined for up to eight weeks. This makes him unavailable for the upcoming ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup.
“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. 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.”
Morris is currently playing for the Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and has taken 13 wickets in nine matches at an average of 23.53.
“Chris has always been in our plans and is our next best option with the ball,” national selection panel convener Linda Zondi said. “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.
“It is unfortunate what has happened to Anrich, he is a talented player with exciting potential,” added Zondi. “We wish him well on his road to recovery and have no doubt that he will bounce back to fulfil his potential.”
South Africa will be sweating over a couple of players ahead of the World Cup as pace bowlers Dale Steyn and Kagiso Rabada had their IPL campaigns cut short due to shoulder and back injuries respectively.
Spinner Tabraiz Shamsi was nursing a stiff back, while JP Duminy underwent shoulder surgery and was out for most of the summer. However, both Shamsi and Duminy are fully fit right now.
“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,” Zondi said.
South Africa’s World Cup Squad: 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