Cricket World Cup: South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn to miss opening match with England

28 May

South Africa will be without fast bowler Dale Steyn for the opening Cricket World Cup match against England.

The 35-year-old has been battling to get back to fitness since aggravating a long-standing shoulder injury during the IPL.

Dale Steyn will miss the World Cup opener because of a shoulder injury

It was confirmed on Tuesday that he would miss the match with England at The Oval on Thursday.

South Africa coach Ottis Gibson said: “He’s not quite ready yet. He’s not far away… but not quite yet.

“We think with a six-week tournament, there is no real need to force the issue.

“We know that he is close and he’s getting closer every day. We’ll give him as much time as we can to get him ready. We hope that if not by Sunday then by the India game.”

Dale Steyn has 196 ODI wickets

This means that Steyn is likely to be missing for their second match, against Bangladesh, at The Oval on Sunday with the India game not coming until June 5.

The fast bowler has 196 one day international wickets to his name in 125 matches.

He is their fifth all-time leading wicket-taker in ODI cricket behind Allan Donald, Jacques Kallis, Shaun Pollock and Makhaya Ntini.

South Africa have a number of injury concerns in the bowling department ahead of the World Cup.

Kagiso Rabada returned home from the IPL early with a back problem and Lungi Ngidi has been recovering from a side injury.

Both are expected to start, though, as they played in the warm-up match against Sri Lanka last week.