South Africa wicketkeeper-batsman Dane Vilas made a 550-mile dash to play in the third Test against England this morning following a freak injury to Quinton de Kock.
Vilas had been preparing to play in the opening day of Cape Cobra’s domestic match in Port Elizabeth when he received an early morning call to pack his bags and get to Johannesburg.
It was hardly the type of preparation AB de Villiers might have wanted in his first Test as captain – and which many club skippers might be able to relate – as he submitted his team sheet at the toss knowing one of his players was still yet to arrive.
Vilas had jumped no an 8.40am flight out of Port Elizabeth and arrived at the Wanderers an hour after play with the Proteas batting.
That at least allowed the 30-year-old, who hit a career-best 216 for the Cobras last week, the chance to settle himself down and prepare himself for his first Test on home soil.
Look who has finally arrived at the Wanderers. Welcome @DaneVilas! #SAvENG pic.twitter.com/CkThHeNxgW
— Cricket South Africa (@OfficialCSA) January 14, 2016
De Kock was also left to watch on in the Wanderers dressing-room and was due to undergo tests later today on a knee injury.
The xx-year-old suffered the injury at his home yesterday but it was only when he woke up in the middle of the night that he suspected it might cause him to miss the Test.
Proteas team manager, Dr Mohammed Moosajee explained: “Quinton slipped and sprained his right knee at home late yesterday afternoon.
“Initially he didn’t think it was too serious but woke up after midnight in pain and with a swollen knee.
“He will have investigations done later today to ascertain the extent of the injury.”
It is not the first time De Kock has been ruled out on a Test match morning after he rolled an ankle before the third day of the Centurion Test against West Indies last year.
Vernon Philander also suffered a freak injury during the tour of India on November when he hurt an ankle playing a game of football during a training warm-up in Bangalore, which has also ruled him out of this series.