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News

Rabada leaves IPL early with soft tissue infection in lower limb

He is being monitored closely by the CSA medical team and is expected to be available for the T20 World Cup

Firdose Moonda
Firdose Moonda
15-May-2024
Kagiso Rabada leaked 43 runs in his first two overs, Kolkata Knight Riders vs Punjab Kings, IPL 2024, Kolkata, April 26, 2024

Kagiso Rabada took 11 wickets in as many matches in IPL 2024  •  Associated Press

Kagiso Rabada has returned home from the IPL on Sunday evening with an infection in the soft tissue of a lower limb, but is expected to be available for the entire T20 World Cup.
Rabada played 11 matches for the Punjab Kings and took 11 wickets at an economy of 8.85 but will not feature in their last two matches. With PBKS ruled out of the playoffs, Rabada was allowed to travel back to South Africa, where he consulted a specialist. A CSA statement said he was being "closely monitored by the medical team" in the lead-up to the World Cup.
Rabada's inclusion is particularly important to South Africa because he is the only black African player named in the 15-man provisional squad, which has become a source of some controversy. CSA currently has targets for the national team that require them to field, on average over the course of a season, six players of colour in every XI, of which at least two must be black African. South Africa will miss that at the T20 World Cup, where they have six players of colour in the squad but only one black African. So Rabada will have to play every game to ensure they do not fall too far behind the overall target. South Africa will have the opportunity to increase the average over the 2024-25 season.
Lungi Ngidi is the only other black African player who was in realistic contention for the squad and has been included as a travelling reserve. South Africa's other fast bowlers are Anrich Nortje, who has returned after a nine-month break caused by a stress fracture, Gerald Coetzee, Ottniel Baartman and Marco Jansen.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent for South Africa and women's cricket

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