A back niggle has brought an early end to Kagiso Rabada's IPL season. Cricket South Africa has advised that the fast bowler return home as a precautionary measure ahead of the 2019 World Cup, which begins on May 30 with the tournament-opener between South Africa and hosts England.
Rabada, the leading wicket-taker of IPL 2019 with 25 in 12 games, had complained of discomfort after Delhi Capitals' match against Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 28. He missed Capitals' next match, against Chennai Super Kings on Wednesday, and underwent scans on his back the following day. Capitals shared the scan results with CSA, and on Friday the franchise confirmed that Rabada had been advised to return home.
As a result, Rabada will miss Capitals' last league game, against Rajasthan Royals on Saturday, as well as their playoff matches.
"It is indeed very hard for me to leave the Delhi Capitals at this stage of the tournament," a Capitals release quoted Rabada as saying. "But with the World Cup just a month away, a collective decision has been made for me in this regard. It's been a tremendous season for me with the Delhi Capitals, both on and off the field, and I truly believe that our team can win the trophy."
The injury to Rabada is the latest in a long line of fitness worries for South Africa's fast bowlers ahead of the World Cup. Dale Steyn's (shoulder) IPL also ended prematurely, while Lungi Ngidi (side strain) and Anrich Nortje (shoulder) were ruled out even before the T20 tournament began.