With the Momentum One Day Cup title on the line, the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras have been dealt a blow with the news that Graeme Smith is unlikely to be able to play in the final on Friday.
The Proteas played no part in the Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras’
semi-final clash in the Momentum One Day Cup on Sunday after he was struck on the elbow in the nets on Friday, trying to pull away from a ball too early and was hit on by net bowler Brendon Young.
Smith is unlikely to play any part in the final when the Cobras travel to Johannesburg to face the bizhub Highveld Lions in the final at the BidVest Wanderers to defend their title.
Smith sustained heavy bruising on his elbow and while he is recovering well, his chances to be a part of the final are looking slim and Proteas’ team manager Doctor Mohammed Moosajee said although Smith is recovering well, risking him ahead of the New Zealand series is not a risk worth taking.
“Smith is recovering well from the injury he sustained, but it’s not likely that he will play any part in the One Day Cup final on Friday,”
With a two-Test series against New Zealand just around the corner, both the Cobras management and the Proteas management feel that it’s a risk not worth taking.
“From a medical point of view, it’s quite risky to play him as he could further the injury if anything goes wrong and he is needed to lead the Test team over the summer,” Moosajee added.
“Smith was obviously eager to take part as it’s a big match for his side, having the chance to defend the trophy, but we have to manage our players carefully in order to ensure they are fit and ready when the Test series against New Zealand starts,” Moosajee added.
With Smith now very much out of contention, the Cobras will have to rely on Richard Levi and Andrew Puttick at the top of the order to set
the foundation. Smith hasn’t played for the
Cobras at all this season, thus the travelling side will not be too unsettled by the loss.
Levi is top run-scorer in the competition with 573 runs at an average of 63.66 in 10 matches and while Puttick hasn't quite been able to produce the fireworks, the team has come together and clicked when it mattered.