Off-form Amla in, but no place for Morris in SA World Cup squad

By Nick SaidCAPE TOWN, South  Africa (Reuters) – South Africa have included off-form opening batsman Hashim Amla in their squad for the Cricket World Cup (CWC) in England and Wales starting next month, but there is no place for all-rounder Chris Morris.Amla’s selection has been the topic of hot debate. He has been a stalwart at the top of the order for the last decade, but his form in all formats has been called into question in the past year.In One-Day International cricket he has managed a single century in his previous 16 innings, dating back to the start of 2018, at an average of 35.26. He was given the opportunity to find form in domestic cricket over the last few weeks, but has a top-score of 32 in six innings, failing to reach double-figures in three of those.“We are very happy with the squad we have been able to put together and have every confidence in their ability to do our country proud at the World Cup,” Cricket South Africa (CSA) selection convener Linda Zondi said. “The fact that we have managed to win our last five series in a row in this format underlines the quality of the team that Faf will lead into the contest.“The final selection is also the result of a very rigorous search we have conducted, leaving no stone unturned, to make sure that we have made the best use of the options available to us.” Morris’s exclusion as an all-rounder is a surprise given his form in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and his death-bowling ability, but the selectors have instead opted for Dwaine Pretorius and Andile Phehlukwayo, with only one of those ever likely to play at any given time.Fast bowlers Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje were both injury doubts, but have been selected, with the former especially crucial to the side given his wicket-taking ability and economy in the opening overs. “Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje are well on the way to recovery and we expect them to be ready for our pre-tournament camp next month,” Zondi added.Rassie van der Dussen, who only made his debut for the side in January but averages 88.25 from his eight ODI innings, was chosen ahead of Reeza Hendricks, while Test opener Aiden Markram also gets the nod on the back of excellent domestic form. EXPERIENCED TRIOFaf du Plessis will captain the side, with experienced batsman JP Duminy and fast bowler Dale Steyn also included.Imran Tahir will be the starting leg-spinner, with the guile of Tabraiz Shamsi another option in that department.South Africa have opted not to select a specialist wicketkeeper as back-up to Quinton de Kock, but instead will rely on part-timer David Miller, who wore the gloves for some of the recent 5-0 series sweep of Sri Lanka. South Africa, seeking a first World Cup trophy win, open their campaign against England at The Oval on May 30.Squad: Faf du Plessis (captain), Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla, David Miller, JP Duminy, Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Dwaine Pretorius, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Imran Tahir, Tabraiz Shamsi. read more

Defeating Uganda will not be easy, says Senegal coach Aliou Cisse

first_imgCisse anticipates a tough game against the Cranes on Friday.The Uganda Cranes have won over neutrals at the on-going 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, with their fearless brand of football.The side now looks nothing like the one which played conservatively on their way to a group stage elimination in Gabon 2017.Despite the core of that very team that finished bottom of their group, still starting, they managed to reach the last 16 after winning one and drawing the other of their three games.As a reward for their showings so far, they were handed a task of trying to shock the football world and eliminate Senegal from the competition when the two sides face off on Friday.As tough as it may seem, the fearless Cranes will most definitely try and give a good account of themselves, something that is a concern to Senegal head coach Aliou Cisse.“No one should take the Ugandan team for granted and I will tell my players that because facing them is not an easy task, Cisse noted.“We need to make sure we prepare well to face Uganda because they have showed since the tournament started that they are here on a serious mission.“Now its direct elimination, it will be hard, the Ugandan team are the team who have lost the least in the last few years.”True to Cisse’s word, the senior Cranes side has lost only three competitive games since February 2017.In that period, the Cranes lost 0-1 to Egypt in a World Cup qualifier, went down 0-3 in an AFCON qualifier against Tanzania and once again lost 0-2 to Egypt last Sunday.Uganda and Senegal have faced off three times since 2012. Their most recent encounter came in a friendly two years ago, one that Cisse still remembers.The last time the two nations faced off saw a 0-0 result.“We played a friendly against them before the world cup and drew 0-0. Continued the former Lions of Teranga captain.“Everyone said that they were a little team that we should have beaten but I was quick to object as I told them that they were a team who are progressing.”Senegal are one of the pre-tournament favourites to win the 2019 AFCON but have struggled to some point.As they progressed through their group, they lost miserably to Algeria in a game that they failed to get started.However, their other two games resulted in two wins, both coming against Uganda’s East African neighbours. Senegal defeated Tanzania 2-0 and then Kenya 3-0 to finish second in Group C.The game against Uganda will be played at the Cairo International Airport on Friday night.Comments Tags: AFCON 2019Aliuo CisseEgyptGroup AGroup CtopUganda Craneslast_img read more