Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 30 (IANS): South Africa are hoping to have captain Temba Bavuma back with the team ahead of starting their campaign in the 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup by 'early next week', after the right-handed batter flew back home due to family reasons, thus missing warm-up matches.
“It is a personal situation. We are just looking forward to him coming back. There is nothing wrong with Temba personally. It is still early days in this World Cup campaign. A guy like Temba has played a lot recently and played very well. We are hoping to have him back early next week, with the impact on the team negligible,” head coach Rob Walter was quoted as saying by iol.co.za.
Aiden Markram will be at the helm in Bavuma’s absence for the warm-up matches, the first of which against Afghanistan was abandoned due to rain at the Greenfield International Stadium on Friday.
South Africa are already without fast-bowlers Anrich Nortje and Sisanda Magala, both of whom were ruled out of the entire tournament due to suspected stress fracture in the back, and left knee injury respectively.
South Africa will open their ODI World Cup campaign against 1996 champions Sri Lanka at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi on October 7. For now, Walter is hoping that the Proteas get some game time ahead of the tournament opener through second warm-up match against New Zealand, who won their warm-up match against Pakistan in Hyderabad.
“We’ve had three excellent days of training. But it is never great missing game-time. We are fortunate that we have played recently. I think we are in a good position. We would have loved to had a run out, but hopefully we can get one in two days’ time,” he added.