Dale Steyn, South Africa cricket team, World Cup, ICC World Cup 2019, Steyn South Africa World Cup
Steyn joined Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) midway this season to resurrect their stuttering campaign but left after playing just two games after he experienced discomfort in his shoulder. @ AFP/Getty Images

South Africa suffered a massive blow on Tuesday when experienced pacer Dale Steyn was ruled out of the ICC World Cup 2019 after he failed to recover from his shoulder injury. The 35-year-old had been battling to be fit in time for Wednesday’s crucial clash against a much-fancied India in Southampton.

South Africa have called up left-arm pace bowler Beuran Hendricks as a replacement for the remainder of the tournament, with Lungi Ngidi also nursing a hamstring problem. Paceman Anrich Nortje was ruled out with a thumb issue before the tournament even started.

“Bowler Steyn has suffered a second shoulder injury which has not responded to treatment and has ruled him out of bowling for the foreseeable future,” the ICC said in a statement.

ALSO READ: Late appearance an advantage for India – Virat Kohli

It can be recalled that Steyn joined Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) midway this season to resurrect their stuttering campaign but left after playing just two games after he experienced discomfort in his shoulder.

South Africa captain Faf du Plessis criticised Steyn’s decision of heading over to the IPL despite not being 100 per cent fit. “It’s a tough time for him. He’s tried really hard to get fit for this campaign. He was bowling unbelievably well in the lead-up to this tournament and the IPL he was at his best. Unfortunately, it happened there in the IPL in those two games that he played there,” Du Plessis said at the pre-match press conference ahead of their clash against India at Southampton.

ALSO READ: Simmering India seek lift against depleted, jolted South Africa at Ageas Bowl

“Had he not been picked up for IPL, who knows where Dale would have been right now. We can’t control that. So it is important for me that we make sure that we are there for him because I know he’s been trying hard to make sure he is ready to try and make an impact on which will be his last World Cup.

“Dale has struggled really hard to get back into the team. It’s been a tough two-year, two-and-a-half years for him and he would need support right now. It’s important that us as the team and the management make sure there’s things in place for him to assist him, to be there for him. He needs love at the moment.”

South Africa have endured a wretched start to the tournament, losing to hosts England by 104 runs then slipping to a 21-run loss to Bangladesh on Sunday.