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Nortje and Magala out of World Cup

Stuart Hess Sports reporter
Anrich Nortje has been ruled out of the World Cup with a lower back injury.
Anrich Nortje has been ruled out of the World Cup with a lower back injury.
Image: Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Anrich Nortjé and Sisanda Magala were ruled out of the World Cup on Thursday dealing major blow to Temba Bavuma's Proteas on the eve of the team's departure for the tournament.

Nortje was diagnosed with a suspected lower back (lumbar) stress fracture, while Magala failed to recover from a knee problem that he was struggling with before the recent series against Australia. 

Andile Phehlukwayo has been called into the squad as a replacement for Magala, while Lizaad Williams, will replace Nortje. 

“It’s hugely disappointing for Anrich and Sisanda to be missing out on the 50-over World Cup,” said Proteas limited overs coach Rob Walter. “Both are quality players that add immense value to the Proteas. We sympathise in their omission and will continue to provide all the necessary support as they work towards their return to competitive action.”

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Nortje bowled just five overs in the second ODI against Australia in Bloemfontein before being forced off the field with back spasms. A Cricket SA statement said he would be placed under the care of a specialist team to oversee the next steps in his recovery.

Magala bowled only seven overs in the third ODI in Potchefstroom but even before that he was visibly uncomfortable when running between the wickets during a short innings. 

Phehlukwayo played in two matches against Australia, providing a major impact with the bat at the Wanderers, where he scored an unbeaten 39 off 19 balls. 

“This provides an opportunity for Andile and Lizaad on the global stage,” said Walter.

“Both players have been part of our winter programs as well as having represented South Africa in the recent white-ball tour against Australia. They offer great skill sets and we’re excited to have them complete the 15-player squad for this year’s World Cup.”

The Proteas depart for India on Saturday. They will play two warm-up games next week and open their World Cup campaign against Sri Lanka in Delhi on October 7.