Just ahead of the playoffs, Delhi Capitals have received a big injury blow with their star pacer Kagiso Rabada being ruled out of the rest of the IPL. One of the most underachieving teams in the history of the IPL, Delhi Capitals exceeded all the expectations and defied all the odds to progress ahead of the group stage. This is the first time they have qualified for the playoffs after 2012. The Shreyas Iyer-led side will now be looking to make the most of it as they aim to bring an end to their trophy drought.

Rabada is one of the biggest reasons behind Delhi’s march to the playoffs. The Proteas star is the leading wicket-taker this season, having picked up 25 wickets. However, Delhi will now have to do without their pace spearhead. In a press statement released on Friday, 3 May, the franchise said Rabada will be returning home immediately. Rabada,  who was carrying a back niggle over the last couple of days, has been advised to return by Cricket South Africa as a precautionary measure ahead of the ICC World Cup.

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“It is indeed very hard for me to leave the Delhi Capitals at this stage of the tournament,” Kagiso Rabada said. “But with the World Cup just a month away, a collective decision has been made for me in this regard. It’s been a tremendous season for me with the Delhi Capitals, both on and off the field, and I truly believe that our team can win the trophy.”

Kagiso Rabada (L) (Credits”: IPL)

Delhi Capitals’ Head Coach Ricky Ponting also rued the news, saying:

“It’s unfortunate that Rabada is having to leave us at this stage of the tournament. But I have full confidence in our team, and I’m sure each and every member of this unit will step up to the occasion.”

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Meanwhile, Delhi Capitals will be looking to bounce back from the crushing defeat against Chennai Super Kings when they take on Rajasthan Royals in their last league game. A win in the game will all but secure their place in the top two.