South African paceman Dale Steyn has been ruled out of the 2019 World Cup opener against hosts England, head coach Ottis Gibson confirmed on Tuesday (May 28).
The right-arm pacer is yet to recover from his shoulder injury that he suffered while playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore in this year’s IPL. Steyn didn’t feature in any of South Africa’s warm-up games and is now certain to miss out on their first game of the tournament proper.
South Africa will play England on Thursday before taking on Bangladesh on Sunday, and Steyn is doubtful for even that encounter.
“He is getting closer everyday; we hope that if not by Sunday then by the India game (June 5). He is not fully ready yet and we feel that in a six-week tournament there is no need to press the issue right now,” said Gibson.
With Steyn out, South Africa are likely to go for one of Dwaine Pretorius or Chris Morris to complete their attack.