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Kagiso Rabada: We must ignore off-field issues

Mon, 10th Jun 2019

Kagiso Rabada of South Africa bats during the ICC Cricket World Cup Group match between South Africa and Bangladesh at The Oval, London on 02 June 2019 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix

Proteas fast bowler Kagiso Rabada has called for the team to ignore their off-field issues ahead of a must-win ICC Cricket World Cup clash against West Indies in Southampton today.

South Africa are staring down the barrel of early elimination from the tournament after three successive losses and must defeat the Windies to have a realistic hope of reaching the semifinals.

In addition, off-field problems have also made headlines, with fast bowler Dale Steyn ruled out of the competition without bowling a ball due to injury, while a row has broken out over whether the Proteas’ selectors were right to reject AB de Villiers’ offer to come out of international retirement for the World Cup.

"There's just been a lot happening off the field and we are just looking to clear that out of our heads," said Rabada, the leader of the Proteas' attack in Steyn's absence.

"But it has been enjoyable," added Rabada, whose fellow quick Lungi Ngidi is an injury doubt for Monday's match.

"It's exciting. This is what you want. It has been enjoyable but it has come with its challenges in terms of our team."

Rabada has been encouraged by the performances so far of fellow fast bowlers such as England's Jofra Archer, Australia's Mitchell Starc and the West Indies' Oshane Thomas.

"They are all phenomenal bowlers. I enjoy watching other bowlers bowl. It's nice to see other people do well, but not against us," said Rabada jokingly.

"We all have our aspirations. We want to achieve certain goals. I don't think it puts any pressure on me (to perform).

"I know exactly what I want to get out of the game. When you admire other sportsmen, it can inspire you."