Cricket – South Africa’s Rabada heads home from IPL with back niggle

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - Sri Lanka v South Africa - Only T20 - Colombo, Sri Lanka - August 14, 2018 - South Africa's Kagiso Rabada reacts after appeals for a successful wicket for Sri Lanka's Kusal Mendis (not pictured). REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

(Reuters) – South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada will return home from the Indian Premier League (IPL) to avoid aggravating a back problem ahead of the Cricket World Cup, the Delhi Capitals said on Friday.

The 23-year-old has been in fine form this season, claiming 25 wickets from 12 matches in the IPL, but sat out Wednesday’s game against Chennai Super Kings.

Delhi said Rabada had been advised to return by Cricket South Africa as a precautionary measure.

“It’s hard for me to leave the Delhi Capitals at this stage of the tournament. But with the World Cup just a month away, a collective decision has been made for me in this regard,” Rabada said in a statement.

Third-placed Delhi have qualified for the IPL playoffs and play Rajasthan Royals in their last league game on Saturday.

“It’s been a tremendous season for me with Delhi Capitals, both on and off the field, and I truly believe that our team can win the trophy,” Rabada added.

Rabada’s fellow paceman Dale Steyn was also ruled out of the IPL last month after a flare-up of an old shoulder injury, putting his World Cup prospects in doubt.

South Africa open their World Cup campaign against England at The Oval on May 30.

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