Delhi Capitals have been dealt a huge blow with ace pacer Kagiso Rabada ruled out of the rest of the IPL with a persistent back niggle, the franchise announced on Monday (May 3). He was rested for Delhi's previous league game against Chennai Super Kings after undergoing scans on his back and has been advised to return by Cricket South Africa (CSA), as a precautionary measure ahead of the World Cup, which is less than a month away.
Rabada is the leading wicket-taker so far in the tournament with 25 wickets in 12 games at an average of 14.72 and economy of 7.82.
“It is indeed very hard for me to leave the Delhi Capitals at this stage of the tournament,” said Rabada before his departure to South Africa. “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.”
(Image: Delhi Capitals/Twitter)
Rabada had a huge role to play in Delhi reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2012. He was instrumental in the Power Play often stifling the batsmen and was superb in the death overs as well. With him gone, it leaves a huge hole in Delhi's bowling arsenal.
However, head coach Ricky Ponting was confident despite the setback, Delhi had a team to go all the way and win the title for the first time.
“It’s unfortunate that Rabada is having to leave us at this stage of the tournament. But I have full confidence in our team, and I’m sure each and every member of this unit will step up to the occasion," he said.
South Africa are already dealing with multiple niggles in their squad. Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi earlier pulled out of the IPL due to injuries while Dale Steyn as well had to leave the Royal Challengers Bangalore setup after just two games following a shoulder inflammation. Should Rabada also need time on the sidelines it will mean South Africa will head into the World Cup with each pacer in their bowling unit recuperating from an injury.
Delhi will play their last league game against Rajasthan Royals on May 4 at Feroz Shah Kotla before the playoffs.