South Africa pacer Anrich Nortje has been ruled out of the World Cup with a fractured hand. All-rounder Chris Morris will replace him in the South Africa squad.
Nortje fractured his right thumb while practising in the nets, and will need six to eight weeks to recover completely.
Nortje, 25, has played four ODIs for South Africa, all in the home series against Sri Lanka in March this year. He was picked up by Kolkata Knight Riders for the IPL 2019, but had to pull out due to a shoulder injury.
“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 side-lined for up to eight weeks. This makes him unavailable for the upcoming ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup," said South Africa team manager Dr 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.”
Morris, who is currently in India for IPL 2019, last played an ODI in February last year, but Cricket South Africa National Selection Panel convener Linda Zondi said he was always in the side's plans.
“Chris has always been in our plans and is our next best option with the ball,” he said.
“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. 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 fulfill his potential.”
South Africa also have injury concerns over Lungi Ngidi (missed the entire IPL with a side strain), Dale Steyn (returned from IPL with a shoulder injury) and Kagiso Rabada (returned from IPL with back niggle).
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