South Africa's cricket squad is gearing up for the World Cup, but they will miss their captain Temba Bavuma for their two upcoming warm-up matches.
Bavuma is taking a brief break to tend to family matters, leaving the team under the leadership of Aiden Markram.
The warm-up games, scheduled for September 29 against Afghanistan and October 2 against New Zealand in Thiruvananthapuram, will see South Africa adjusting to life without their skipper temporarily.
However, fans need not worry too much, as Bavuma is expected to return in time for South Africa's World Cup opener against Sri Lanka on October 7 in Delhi.
Temba Bavuma the latest absentee
In a series of unfortunate events, South Africa has already lost two key fast bowlers, Anrich Nortje and Sisanda Magala, who have been ruled out of the entire tournament due to injuries.
Nortje is battling a suspected stress fracture of the back, while Magala is sidelined with a left knee injury.
Bavuma's recent journey has been a rollercoaster. After his outstanding unbeaten 114 against Australia in the first ODI earlier this month, he was struck by a hamstring issue but managed to play through the next two games.
🟢#CWC23 TEAM UPDATE 🟡— Proteas Men (@ProteasMenCSA) September 28, 2023
🏏Proteas ODI Captain Temba Bavuma will travel back home due to family reasons
Bavuma misses 2️⃣ #CWC23 warm-up matches
🆚️New Zealand 🇳🇿
Markram will captain in his absence #BePartOfIt pic.twitter.com/iC3PwcSPrY
Unfortunately, he then suffered an inner thigh muscle strain and was rested for the fourth ODI as a precaution. He made a comeback for the final game of the series but had a brief stint at the crease, making a two-ball duck.
With Bavuma temporarily out of action, fans might see Reeza Hendricks opening alongside Quinton de Kock in the warm-up matches in Thiruvananthapuram.
It's a challenging moment for the Proteas, but they'll be hoping for a smooth return of their captain as they embark on their World Cup campaign.