Johannesburg: Fast bowlers Anrich Nortje and Sisanda Magala have both been ruled out of the Cricket World Cup because of injury, Cricket South Africa announced on Thursday.
They will be replaced by all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo and fast bowler Lizaad Williams.
The loss of Nortje is a particularly heavy blow for South Africa’s chances because of his ability to bowl match-changing spells at high pace.
One of the fastest bowlers in the world, capable of speeds of 150km an hour and more, he was named Cricketer of the Year at CSA’s awards function in July.
Lower back stress
Nortje had to leave the field because of back spasms after bowling five overs in his only appearance in South Africa’s recent five-match series against Australia. According to a CSA statement he has a suspected lower back stress fracture.
It is the second successive World Cup that Nortje will miss because of injury. A broken right thumb ruled him out of the 2019 tournament in England.
The heavily built Magala also played in only one game against Australia and has not fully recovered from a left knee injury.
Williams, 29, has only played in a single One Day International, against Ireland in 2021, although he played in the recent Twenty20 international series against Australia.
Phehlukwayo, 27, has played in 76 ODIs. He had not been a regular member of the team in the past two seasons, but was added to the squad against Australia because of the injury to Magala.
The injuries could affect South Africa’s tactics for the World Cup.
Coach Rob Walter said when the squad was announced on September 5: “Our strength has been in fast bowling and we want to be able to have four high-quality fast bowlers on the park in most situations.”
The injuries leave Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi as the only experienced fast bowlers in the squad. South Africa depart for India on Saturday.
Temba Bavuma (captain), Gerald Coetzee, Quinton de Kock (wkt), Reeza Hendricks, Marco Jansen, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen, Lizaad Williams.