Ahead of their ICC Cricket World Cup clash against India, South Africa have suffered a massive blow with their ace speedster, Dale Steyn, been ruled out of the tournament due to a shoulder injury. Steyn had missed the opening two games against England and Bangladesh and the announcement effectively puts his limited overs career in doubt. The ICC technical committee has approved Steyn's replacement and left-arm pacer Beuran Hendricks has been drafted into the side. In a statement put out by the ICC, it said, "The ICC has confirmed that the Event Technical Committee of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 has approved Hendricks as a replacement player for Dale Steyn in the South Africa squad for the remainder of the tournament. Steyn has suffered a second shoulder injury which has not responded to treatment and has ruled him out of bowling for the foreseeable future."
Hendricks, a left-arm pacer, has played 10 Twenty20 Internationals and two ODIs recently in the series against Pakistan at home. He was part of the Kings XI Punjab franchise in the Indian Premier League. In two games, he has taken only one wicket while in Twenty20 Internationals, he has taken 16 wickets with a best bowling figure of 4/14.
The latest injury for Steyn is a continuation of the list of injuries that he has suffered in the last four years. Following the end of the Bangladesh series in 2015, the nightmare began for Steyn. A groin injury that he sustained in the India series in 2015 curtailed his participation and he was ruled out for a couple of months. He returned for the series against England and put in a magnificent performance in the Boxing Day Test in Durban when he picked up 4/70 but in the second innings, he suffered a shoulder injury which prolonged his time on the sidelines.
Steyn spent a considerable amount of time outside the game and returned for the series against New Zealand where he displayed his mettle and took 5/33 in Centurion to give South Africa a series win. Steyn travelled to Australia in 2016 where he got the wicket of David Warner for 97 in Perth. However, he once again suffered an injury and this one was more serious.
A fractured shoulder led to surgery and he was sidelined for 14 months. When he returned for the India series in 2018 in Cape Town, he got two wickets but in the second innings, an injured heel resulted in him missing the series and also the four Tests against Australia.
With so many injuries cropping up, Steyn played very few games and he once again made a comeback in the series against Sri Lanka. Steyn featured in two games for Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2019 against Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings but had to return home due to a shoulder injury.
The latest injury is a sad way for Steyn to bow out of what might be his last World Cup.