FILE - Proteas fast bowler Lungi Ngidi Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix
FILE - Proteas fast bowler Lungi Ngidi Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

Proteas fast bowler Lungi Ngidi tests positive for Covid-19 in latest health setback

By Zaahier Adams Time of article published Nov 24, 2021

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Cape Town - Proteas fast bowler Lungi Ngidi has tested positive for Covid-19 and been ruled out of the upcoming ODI series against the Netherlands.

According to a Cricket SA statement Ngidi "is well and in good spirits" with the Proteas medical team monitoring his physical progress and metal well-being.

Ngidi's Titans teammate Junior Dala has been called up to replace him.

The Proteas have suffered a further blow to their fast bowling stocks with Lizaad Williams also withdrawing from the series due to a intercostal muscle strain. Williams is undergoing treatement and will continue to be assessed with no replacement required.

Ngidi's withdrawal, though, due to Covid-19 is the latest blow in tumultuous year for the 25-year-old. The hulking speedster has not played for the Proteas in a competitive match since the second T20I against Ireland back in July.

He withdrew from the Hundred competition in England after signing for the Welsh Fire too and then missed the Sri Lanka series due to "personal reasons" and instead headed straight off to the Indian Premier League where he worked on his fitness with former Proteas trainer Greg King at the Chennai Super Kings ahead of the T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

Ngidi seemed in good shape in the UAE and played in a couple of warm-up matches, but remained on the bench throughout the T20 World Cup as the Proteas only utilized Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje and all-rounder Dwaine Pretorius as their seam bowling contingent.

The concerns are certainly starting to mount in relation to Ngidi's match-fitness, particularly with the Test series against India looming large on the horizon.

Ngidi was a crucial component of the Proteas fast bowling attack in the last Test series win over the West Indies in the Caribbean back in June.

@ZaahierAdams

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