Nortje out of World Cup squad; replacement named

File image: Anrich Nortje.

All-rounder Chris Morris has replaced the injured Anrich Nortje in South Africa’s squad for the 2019 World Cup.

Nortje had recovered from the ankle injury that curtailed participation in late 2018’s inaugural Mzansi Super League – and was rehabilitating the shoulder hurt during the limited-overs Sri Lanka earlier this year.

The right-arm fast bowler, however, injured a hand earlier this week – and has since been withdrawn from the 15-man squad for the global showpiece in the United Kingdom.

“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 sidelined for up to eight weeks. This makes him unavailable for the World Cup,” said Proteas team manager, doctor Mohammed Moosajee.

“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.”

The 32-year-old Morris has not played ODI cricket in more than a year – and is currently with the Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League.

Chris has always been in our plans and is our next best option with the ball. 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,” added Cricket South Africa national selection panel convener Linda Zondi.

“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.”