South Africa fast-bowler Kagiso Rabada, who suffered a back injury during his stint in the Indian Premier League (IPL), is set to be fit ahead of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019. Concerns over Rabada’s fitness for the World Cup surfaced after the South Africa board asked the fast bowler to return from India, where he was instrumental in Delhi Capitals progress to reach the IPL playoffs for the first time since 2012. Cricket South Africa (CSA) told both Delhi Capitals and IPL that Rabada had a back niggle and needed rest and recovery time ahead of the World Cup. South Africa board’s doctor Mohammed Moosajee over the weekend said CSA’s medical team was being “extra cautious” in managing Rabada’s workload because of his history with back injuries, ESPNcricinfo reported.
Earlier, Moosajee, in a statement issued by CSA, had said, “With KG (Rabada), we are extra cautious because of two reasons. He had a back issue that kept him out of the game for a protracted amount of time. Secondly, there’s his importance in the squad, so we’re managing his rehab and his return to play very carefully. The anticipated recovery period for KG’s injury is two to three weeks and we are hopeful he’ll make a full recovery to be part of the World Cup squad.”
South Africa’s preparations going into the World Cup was further affected by injuries to Dale Steyn and Lungi Nigidi. Steyn, who played for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, was forced to withdraw from the IPL after sustaining a shoulder injury after two matches. While Ngidi, who was signed by Chennai Super Kings, was ruled out of the tournament after picking up a side strain during the ODI series against Sri Lanka.
A positive Moosajee said, “The selectors have ensured they have enough options on the table but there are some players that have been earmarked as standby players.” South Africa’s World Cup squad will assemble in Pretoria for a week-long preparatory camp before departing for the marquee event in the UK on May 19. The team will play against Sri Lanka and West Indies in the warm-ups on May 24 and 26, respectively, before opening its World Cup campaign against England on May 30.