Dale Steyn was ruled out of South Africa’s World Cup 2019 opener © Twitter
South Africa were handed a major setback as their premier fast bowler Dale Steyn was on Tuesday ruled out of their World Cup 2019 opener against hosts England on Thursday. The 35-year-old injured his shoulder during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 and will not be risked at the Oval. South Africa head coach Ottis Gibson also confirmed that he is nearing full recovery but not quite ready to take on the field when his side get their World Cup 2019 campaign underway.
“He’s not quite ready yet, not far away but not ready,” said head coach Ottis Gibson.
“We think with a six-week tournament there’s no real need to force the issue just now. He won’t be available for the first game. We’ve still got 14 others so we’ll choose from them.”
Former South Africa skipper Graeme Smith was however not surprised with Steyn missing out as the fast bowler did not feature in any of the warm-up matches. He also said that South Africa will be targeting to get Steyn back before South Africa’s clash with India.
Steyn has not bowled competitively since pulling out of Royal Challengers Bangalore’s IPL campaign in late April, having played only two games there.
(With AFP inputs)
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