26 March 2019

South Africa: Gibson - I've Had 15 Names for a While Now

Cape Town — Proteas coach Ottis Gibson says he has known his preferred 15-man World Cup squad for some time now.

The final squad is expected to be named on April 18 ahead of the tournament opener against England in London on May 30 .

While Gibson and the Proteas brains trust may have a good idea of the direction they would like to take, there is still a lot of cricket to be played over the next month.

In addition to the end of the Momentum One Day Cup this week and the upcoming domestic T20 tournament, there are also five South Africans expected to be in the World Cup squad who are currently playing in this year's IPL.

Those players are Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock, Kagiso Rabada, David Miller and Imran Tahir while Lungi Ngidi and Anrich Nortje were withdrawn from the tournament with injuries.

"The other day I thought to myself that I wish the World Cup was next week, because we're in such good form at the minute and confidence is high in the team," Gibson told media in Johannesburg on Sunday.

"The IPL is there and there is also still a domestic season to get through.

"We've asked the guys who have gone off to make sure that they still remember what the biggest picture is with regards to the Proteas set-up.

"The guys who have gone to the IPL have all got individual programmes around their fitness and their cricket.

"We have a camp on May 12, and we want to make sure that there are no niggling injuries. We don't want to be taking injuries into a World Cup, so hopefully that will take care of itself."

When asked if there was still room for players to make a play at the World Cup squad, Gibson revealed that he was largely settled.

"I've had 15 for a while now, but we've got to sit with fingers crossed," he said.

"My experience of working in the IPL is that there is always somebody who comes back with an injury.

"We just pray that with our guys nobody comes back with anything serious enough to rule them out of the tournament."

Source: Sport24

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