Proteas fast bowler Dale Steyn has been ruled out of the entire 2019 World Cup.
A shoulder injury sustained during the Indian Premier League earlier this year sidelined Steyn from opening World Cup fixtures against England and Bangladesh at The Oval in London, which influenced Betway markets.
His return was anticipated for this week’s fixture against India at the Rose Bowl in Southampton. However, Cricket South Africa have since confirmed Steyn will not participate in the tournament at all.
The 35-year-old’s exit is a big blow for those who bet on South Africa finally breaking their CWC jinx. They haven’t won a title in several attempts – and perhaps this year will bring a first.
South Africa lost to England and Bangladesh – and will be without fast bowler Lungi Ngidi for the meeting with India, too. Ngidi is nursing a hamstring injury, as Betway odds ponder the pace ace’s overall influence on the tournament.
Steyn has been replaced in the squad by left-arm seamer Beuran Hendricks. Hendricks debuted in ODI cricket earlier this year – and was a late addition to the Mumbai Indians’ 2019 IPL campaign, but did not play a match.
“The International Cricket Council have confirmed that the event technical committee of the World Cup 2019 has approved Hendricks as a replacement player for Steyn in the South Africa squad for the remainder of the tournament,” read a statement from CSA.
“Bowler Steyn has suffered a second shoulder injury which has not responded to treatment and has ruled him out of bowling for the foreseeable future. His replacement Hendricks is a left-arm fast bowler.
“The event technical committee consists of Geoff Allardice (ICC, ETC chairman), Campbell Jamieson (ICC representative), Steve Elworthy (CWC representative), Alan Fordham (host representative), Harsha Bhogle and Kumar Sangakkara (both independent representatives).”
Hendricks was favoured to fellow seamers Vernon Philander and Anrich Nortje, who are also nursing injuries. Hendricks was a key member of the Jozi Stars’ title-winning Mzansi Super League campaign late last year – and four months later won the CSA T20 Challenge with the Lions. Mumbai, of course, won the 2019 IPL. Hendricks, then, boasts three titles in the past six months – and might be the stimulant an otherwise deflated Proteas squad requires.
“Beuran did well for us, the Lions, in all competitions. He is going into the World Cup with a bit of confidence. I think he is going to be really good. I definitely back him as a player. He brings variety to the attack, as well as a left-arm seamer. That will add to South Africa’s repertoire,” said Lions team-mate Reeza Hendricks.
Indian captain Virat Kohli, meanwhile, has sympathised with Steyn.
Kohli captained Steyn at the Royal Challengers Bangalore during the 2019 IPL. They would likely have opposed each other during Wednedsay’s fixture at the Rose Bowl.
“I feel really bad for Dale. He looked really happy. He was bowling really well and then suddenly we found out that he was not going to be able to continue. I feel bad for him because he has been a friend for a very long time,” said Kohli.
“He is a motivated guy. He has been very happy to come back and play for South Africa. He has been doing very well. He still has the hunger and passion, but those niggles and injuries are just not going his way. I can understand his frustration about those injuries. I wish him a speedy recovery.
“He was looking in a great mental space, enjoying his cricket, bowling really well. I can understand how he must be feeling and I am feeling bad for him.”