London, May 28: Dale Steyn has been ruled out of South Africa's ICC World Cup 2019 opener against England at The Oval on Thursday (May 30). South Africa coach Ottis Gibson announced it at the Oval during a press conference here on Tuesday (May 28).
The 35-year-old Steyn is still not fully fit as the pacer continues his recovery from the shoulder injury that saw him return home from the IPL 2019 while playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore. "He is not fully ready yet and we feel that in a six-week tournament there is no need to press the issue right now," Gibson said at a press conference after the team's training session at the Oval.
In that context, Steyn might miss Proteas' second World Cup match against Bangladesh on June 2 too but he could get ready for the showpiece match against India on June 5 at Southampton.
The Proteas are banking heavily on their fast bowling in England during the the quadrennial big bash, with coach Gibson and captain Faf du Plessis having said as much. Under overcast skies at The Oval, Steyn played a limited role at Africans' training on Tuesday. He was involved in the warm-ups, but bowled just a few balls with a shortened run-up.
In Steyn's absence, the team are likely to go for either Dwaine Pretorius or Chris Morris to complete their attack that also include Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi.