Wed, 8th May 2019
The sad news that fast bowler Anrich Nortje will miss the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup due to a fractured thumb was indeed a major blow to the Proteas.
However, his replacement – all-rounder Chris Morris – is one of the country’s most gifted and exciting cricketers, and a player who could provide an unpredictability which will stand South Africa in good stead at the tournament in England and Wales.
It may have been more than a year since Morris last played ODI cricket for South Africa, but he is an experienced campaigner who has made over 70 appearances for the country combined across all three formats of the sport.
The 32-year-old’s space and swing with the ball will come in handy in English conditions, and he has experience of playing in the country after featuring for Surrey in 2016.
In addition, Morris’ batting ability will not only shorten the tail but also make the Proteas’ line-up an even more powerful one in terms of boundary-hitting at the back end of an innings.
Nowhere was this more prominently demonstrated that in Morris’ career-high ODI score of 62 off 38 balls in 2016 to help the Proteas claim an unlikely victory over England – the very team they will come up against in the opening match of the ICC Cricket World Cup on May 30 at the Oval in London.
Commenting on Morris replacing Nortje in the 15-man squad, Cricket South Africa National Selection Panel convener, Linda Zondi said: “Chris has always been in our plans and is our next best option with the ball,” he explained.
“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.”