On Tuesday, South African star bowler, Dale Steyn was declared unfit due to a shoulder injury and ruled out for the rest of the World Cup.
In the pre-match conference at the Ages Bowl, Faf du Plessis indirectly blamed IPL for Dale Steyn’s injury. He said, “Unfortunately, it happened there in the IPL in those two games that he played there. If Dale Steyn hadn’t gone to the IPL, who knows how it could have been today.”
Dale Steyn played only two games for Royal Challengers Bangalore and was ruled out of the possibility to play in remaining IPL matches due to injury.
Blaming IPL for Steyn’s injury is wrong. Steyn has a long history of injuries.
- November 6, in 2015, suffered a groin strain, missed 3 Tests against India
- December 28, in 2015, sustained shoulder spasms, missed 3 Tests against England
- November 5, in 2016, fractured his right shoulder, missed the next 15 Tests (2 v Australia, 3 v Sri Lanka, 3 v New Zealand, 4 v England, 2 v Bangladesh and 1 v Zimbabwe)
- January 4, in 2018, injured his heel, missed 2 Tests against India
- April 25, in 2019, injured his right shoulder, missed remaining IPL season, ruled out of Cricket World Cup
This clearly shows Steyn had issues with injuries for a long time. His right shoulder injury in 2016 was so bad that it almost ended his career. He missed 15 straight tests due to that.
Dale Steyn played 4 Tests and 4 ODIs and 2 T20Is, also 2 T20 domestic games in 2019 before playing for RCB in IPL. So how do you conclude that it was just because of the two matches he played IPL is the cause of his injury?
The origin of the injury is not IPL. Whether you like it or not, this was always coming, Steyn was at risk since his shoulder injury in 2016. Dale Steyn had bowled only eight overs in IPL 2019, these many overs a bowler usually bowls during warm-up games for their country in World Cup.
What if Steyn missed out the IPL and have got injured after playing those two warm-up matches? Would Faf have blamed the warm-up games then? A fast bowler is always prone to injuries after a certain age, and Dale Steyn is not young anymore.
So it would have been better if Faf had concentrated more on how to improve and play with the available squad in the World Cup as they are just two losses away from an early World Cup exit.