Chris Morris, who was left out of the South Africa squad for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, has been included in the side after paceman Anrich Nortje was ruled out of the tournament due to a fractured finger that he sustained during the nets. Nortje, who has been plagued by back and shoulder injuries which forced him to miss the 2019 Indian Premier League for Kolkata Knight Riders, suffered a fractured his thumb during a South Africa nets session. According to an ESPNCricinfo report, Nortje consulted a hand surgeon and underwent surgery but has been sidelined for eight weeks, ruling him out of the tournament.
“Anrich sustained a fracture to his right thumb during a net session in Port Elizabeth. 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,” South Africa team manager Mohammed Moosajee said.
Nortje played four ODIs for South Africa in the series against Sri Lanka, taking eight wickets and averaging 18.75. The 25-year-old impressed with his pace but injuries took a toll. South Africa won the five-match series 5-0.
The inclusion of Morris will boost South Africa’s bowling and lower-order batting. However, the 32-year-old has not played an ODI for close to a year and currently, he is playing for the Delhi Capitals in 2019 Indian Premier League where he has taken 13 wickets. The injury to Nortje comes at a time when South Africa’s pace bowlers are grappling with a host of injury issues.
Kagiso Rabada, the leading wicket-taker in IPL 2019, was rushed back home after complaining of a sore back while Dale Steyn, who was playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore, played just two games before suffering a shoulder injury. JP Duminy and Tabraiz Shamsi are also recovering from injuries after they missed the majority of the South Africa domestic summer. South Africa will play the opening game of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 against England at The Oval.
South Africa ICC Cricket World Cup updated 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