South Africa gambles on injured wicketkeeper De Kock for Cricket World Cup

By Gerald Imray


CAPE TOWN, South Africa _ South Africa gambled on wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock on Wednesday in its latest attempt to end a long, painful run of Cricket World Cup failures.

The Proteas included De Kock in their squad for next month’s tournament in Australia and New Zealand while he still recovers from a ligament tear in his left ankle.

De Kock, who also opens the batting, will still miss the upcoming one-day international and Twenty20 series against West Indies, and may be fully fit only after the World Cup starts in mid-February.

Cricket South Africa said the squad was otherwise at full strength, led by captain AB de Villiers, vice-captain Hashim Amla, and fast bowling spearhead Dale Steyn.

JP Duminy is named after being treated for a chronic knee injury and sitting out the last two months. The middle-order batsman is expected to return against the West Indies this week.

Batsmen Rilee Rossouw and Farhaan Behardien and seamer Kyle Abbott also were included alongside the more established regulars. The selectors picked two specialist spinners in Aaron Phangiso and Imran Tahir.

South Africa has never won the World Cup, or even made a final, despite regularly boasting one of the world’s top lineups. Cricket’s 50-over showpiece is viewed as a cursed tournament by South African fans after a string of near-misses and spectacular collapses dating to 1992.

Already with six ODI centuries, De Kock is important to the 2015 effort, and head selector Andrew Hudson said the team was hoping he’d recover in time.

“Our medical committee has backed his inclusion at this stage so there is confidence that he will be ready for the tournament,” Hudson said.

Eight of South Africa’s 15 have played at the World Cup before.


South Africa: AB de Villiers (captain), Hashim Amla, Kyle Abbott, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Vernon Philander, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn.

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