Proteas: Ngidi declared fully fit for England ODIs

Lungi Ngidi (Gallo)
Lungi Ngidi (Gallo)

Cape Town - The Proteas have been boosted by the news that Lungi Ngidi has been declared fit for the upcoming ODI series against England. 

The 23-year-old speedster had been part of a Cricket South Africa (CSA) conditioning and high-performance camp for the last three weeks and was a doubt heading into the series. 

It was confirmed on Thursday, however, that Ngidi had come through the camp and was now fit and available along with spinner Tabraiz Shamsi and allrounder Jon-Jon Smuts. 

Newcomer Sisanda Magala, though, has been declared unavailable. 

While the seamer has shown impressive signs of improvement since his enrolment into the camp, he has not met the team’s requirements for the ODI series.

He will, however, join the Proteas camp for the duration of the series and continue to work with the team’s strength and conditioning coach, Tumi Masekela, with the aim of being match-ready for selection for the T20 international series from February 12-16. 

"I'm proud of the work that’s been achieved by the four players who have been in our high performance camp for the last three weeks," commented Cricket South Africa interim Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith.

"It’s been a tough assignment and the guys have really put in the work with the ambition to get into the green and gold in mind, that’s the kind of commitment and grit we’re looking for in our national team.

"I’m pleased that Lungi, Tabraiz and Jon-Jon have been declared fully fit to join the ODI squad and I’m confident that Sisanda will be in that circle soon enough.

"He has put in an immense amount of work over a short period of time and we want to ensure he has the tools to deal with the high demands of international cricket when the opportunity arises. The Proteas men have an incredibly busy year of limited overs cricket ahead of them and we want to be certain that our players are up for the demands that will come."

The Proteas will assemble in Cape Town this weekend to begin preparation for the three-match ODI series against England from February 4-9. 

The squad sees several new faces such as Lutho Sipamla, Kyle Verreynne and Bjorn Fortuin who have lit up the local limited overs domestic leagues throughout the past season and impressed selectors enough to give them a chance against the reigning World Champions.

Their inclusion will serve as an opportunity to see the value they can bring as the team begins its building blocks towards the 2023 ICC World Cup, while also giving senior players such as Faf du Plessis and Kagiso Rabada much needed rest after a very busy 12 months of cricket. 

"It’s an exciting group of youngsters that the selectors have picked and it’s a clear sign to everyone that if you put in the hard yards consistently enough, it will pay off eventually," said newly appointed captain Quinton de Kock. 

"We’re excited to take on a team like England who have had a really good season. It’s a good way of measuring ourselves against the current ODI world champions and the right kind of challenge for everyone from the new guys to the senior players. It’s going be a good, quick and tough series and I’m looking forward to it." 

- CSA media

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