Steyn ruled out of opening World Cup match

File image: Dale Steyn.

South Africa will be without fast bowler Dale Steyn for Thursday’s World Cup opening fixture against England at The Oval in London.

Steyn has been sidelined by a shoulder injury sustained during a stint with the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League earlier this year.

“He is not fully ready yet and we feel that in a six-week tournament there is no need to press the issue right now,” said head coach Ottis Gibson.

“We know that he is close and is getting closer every day. We will give him as much time as we can for him to get ready. We are hoping that he will be ready on Sunday against Bangladesh, but if not, then against India.”

Steyn, who has taken the fifth most wickets for South Africa in World Cup cricket, will likely be replaced by all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius or late addition Chris Morris. Morris was added to the squad as a replacement for the injured Anrich Nortje.

Fellow fast bowler Kagiso Rabada, meanwhile, has recovered from back spasms endured during the Delhi Capitals’ IPL campaign.

“Whenever you’re reading about Kagiso and Dale going through injuries, as a South African it’s never nice to read that,” said team-mate Aiden Markram earlier this month.

“But from what I’ve heard, they seem like they’re doing well and they’re on a good road to be fully recovered by the time the World Cup starts, or if not, at least within the first few games.”

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