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ICC Cricket World Cup 2023: South Africa’s Fast Bowling Unit Suffers Injury Setbacks Ahead of World Cup

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As the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup draws nearer, South Africa’s vital pace duo is under scrutiny for their fitness and availability for the prestigious event.

The participation of pacers Anrich Nortje and Sisanda Magala in the World Cup remains in doubt as they have yet to prove their fitness before South Africa’s departure for India on September 23.

Both players were initially included in South Africa’s 15-member squad for the highly anticipated tournament. However, since their selection, they have participated in just one out of the five home ODIs against Australia, a series that the hosts managed to clinch with a 3-2 margin.

Nortje featured in the second ODI and bowled only five overs before being forced to leave the field due to back spasms. Although he returned to the field in the second innings, contributing 10 runs with the bat while batting at No. 10 during the run chase, his back injury ultimately ruled him out for the rest of the series.

Meanwhile, Magala, who has been grappling with a knee injury, made his sole appearance in the third ODI against Australia, where he bowled just four overs.

Rob Walter, South Africa’s white-ball coach, expressed his concerns after the conclusion of the Australia series, stating, “We are continually assessing the status of both those players. The fact that they weren’t playing today, with a week to go before we board the plane for the World Cup, is obviously a cause for concern. We would have wanted them out there.”

Walter also highlighted the complexities of including injured players in a World Cup squad, explaining, “There are complications around taking injured players into a World Cup because then you have to provide a medical reason to be swapped out.”

As the World Cup approaches, South Africa’s cricket fans anxiously await updates on the fitness of these key fast bowlers, hoping that Nortje and Magala will be fit to contribute to the team’s campaign in India.

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