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Home > Cricket > The Cup > Reuters > Report

Proteas ready to shrug off injury woes

Pritha Sarkar | March 05, 2007 14:19 IST

Determined to live up to their new status as the world's top-ranked team, South Africa will be aiming to put World Cup debutants Ireland firmly in their place when the warm-up matches get underway on Monday.

Injury scares to all-rounder Justin Kemp and batsman Herschelle Gibbs were unlikely to have dented the confidence of the African side after it became clear that the duo had not suffered any long-term damage.

Kemp was left grimacing in pain after he was struck on his big left toe by fast bowler Charl Langeveldt during a nets session on Sunday, while Gibbs injured a finger in a fielding drill.

"Their injuries are more of a soft tissue and ligament nature, there is no damage to the bone and they shouldn't be affected too much," South African team doctor Mohammad Moosajee told reporters on Sunday.

Although Kemp and Gibbs could miss the match against Ireland in Trinidad, it would have done little to ease the daunting task that lies ahead for Ireland.

South Africa became the world number one ranked limited-overs team last month when Australia lost their one-day series against New Zealand 3-0.


The European side will be one of four cricketing minnows who will be hoping on Monday to justify their place in the sporting extravaganza that is taking place in the Caribbean for the first time.

Like Ireland, Bermuda will also be stepping into unchartered territory on Monday when they come up against England in St Vincent.

Scotland face 1996 champions Sri Lanka while local fans hope the Kenyans will not put a dampener on the carnival atmosphere that is starting to grip the Caribbean islands when they take on hosts West Indies in Jamaica.

"The fever is getting there but it's still 60 degrees not 90. When the games start, the people will get a feel starting from Monday's games," West Indies team manager Clive Lloyd said.

The 13-a-side game will give England a chance to experiment with their bowling while captain Michael Vaughan says he will play some part in the game as he looks to boost his fitness after knee and hamstring trouble.

Bermuda have few well known players apart from 36-year-old David Hemp who captains county side Glamorgan in England.

Seventeen-year-old all-rounder Malachi Jones is among the Bermudans who could make a name for himself and 35-year-old left-arm spinner Dwayne Leverock will undoubtedly be their standout player thanks to his 133 kg frame.

England's Kevin Pietersen, fully recovered from a broken rib suffered in Australia, will also return with out-of-form Andrew Strauss possibly missing out.

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