Proteas fast bowler, Anrich Nortje, has been ruled out of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup due to a hand injury. Nortje fractured his right thumb while practising in the nets, and will need six to eight weeks to make a full recovery.
Proteas team manager, Dr Mohammed Moosajee, lamented the unfortunate nature of the injury. “Anrich sustained a fracture to his right thumb during a net session in Port Elizabeth on Monday. He immediately consulted a hand surgeon and underwent surgery to stabilise the joint and will unfortunately be side-lined 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.”
All-rounder, Chris Morris, has been named to replace Nortje in the squad. The 32-year-old Morris last played an ODI for South Africa in February 2018, but brings with him an ‘X-factor’ appeal as well as depth with the bat.
Commenting on the decision, Cricket South Africa (CSA) National Selection Panel convener, Linda Zondi said: “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.