Lungi Ngidi
Lungi Ngidi (AFP Photo)

South Africa paceman Lungi Ngidi is back to full fitness after spending some time on the sidelines recovering from a knee injury.

Ngidi recently returned to playing cricket after missing the home series against Pakistan, turning out for the Titans against the Knights in South Africa’s ongoing domestic one-day competition.

The 22-year-old picked up the injury during Proteas’ limited-overs tour of Australia last year and was expected to be out of action for at least three months. However, he regained fitness in quick time than expected and now is aiming to get back to the rigours of international cricket with his eyes trained on ICC World Cup 2019.

But for the youngster, who has played 13 ODIs and taken 26 wickets at 23.03, should injury keep him out of the World Cup, that won’t mean the end of the world for him as he strives for a long career.

“I enjoy bowling, playing cricket, a World Cup is something I’d love to play in, but it’s not the be-all and end-all,” Ngidi was quoted as saying by IOL. “I’d like to have as long a career as possible, and if this injury that I had, had prevented me from going to the World Cup, I would have had to deal with that. I’m back playing now, bowling again, so I’m not too stressed about many things at the moment. I’m just happy to be on the field.”

Despite his run with injuries, Ngidi is part of South Africa’s plans for the World Cup and he’s eager to repay the faith

“Hearing them speak about me as being part of their plans is a big confidence booster. I feel like I want to put in great performances, so that I leave them with no doubt (about a recall to the national side),” Ngidi said.

Speaking about his first competitive match in almost three months, he said, “There were a few overs where I felt I was bringing the ball through quite quickly. Within the first spell, the rhythm was a bit off and the pace wasn’t where I’d expect it to be, and you can also see by the lines I was bowling. But at the end, I felt I was bowling decently.”