Defending Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Chennai Super Kings have been dealt a big blow just three days before the start of their 2019 campaign with South Africa pacer Lungi Ngidi ruled out of the competition with a muscle strain.
The Proteas pacer picked up the injury during the fifth and final ODI against Sri Lanka at Cape Town and will now play no part in the upcoming IPL.
Ndidi is not the only South African pacer to break down before the start of the IPL with his compatriot Anrich Nortje sidelined as well with a shoulder injury. Nortje was due to make his IPL debut for Kolkata Knight Riders before he sustained the injury.
22-year-old Ngidi’s absence will come as bitter pill to swallow for Chennai given his impressive displays in the 2018 IPL. The Proteas youngster picked up 11 wickets in his seven appearances for the eventual champions while going at an economy-rate of just six runs an over.
“Lungi felt discomfort while bowling during the last ODI against Sri Lanka at Newlands and immediately stopped bowling. Further scans revealed a Grade II muscle strain which will need up to four weeks of rest followed by a rehab programme leading up to the World Cup,” South Africa team manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee stated.
Both Kolkata and Chennai are yet to announce their respective replacements for Nortje and Ngidi. Kolkata Knight Riders open their IPL campaign on March 24 against Sunrisers Hyderabad while Chennai will be in action in the tournament opener on March 23 against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
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