Cape Town - Titans coach Mark Boucher feels that the injury woes of young fast bowler Lungi Ngidi should serve as a warning not to fast track young fast bowlers into international cricket.
Boucher feels that the rapid rise of the Hilton College Old Boy has played a big part in him suffering a side strain and then a back injury that stalled a career that had begun to take off.
The coach told the ESPNCricinfo website: "Lungi came from the Tuks' team where he was bowling maybe 10 overs a day, and then went to provincial cricket, bowling maybe 15 overs a day, and then franchise cricket, where he had to bowl around 20 overs a day and all of that happened in the space of one season when he also made his international debut and got picked for the South Africa 'A' side to tour England. By the time he went over, he was tired; he had a long season and maybe the selection should have been looked at."
Boucher is keen on protecting his young star for the benefit of both Ngidi himself and the teams he is set to represent.
"We sat down with him and had a chat about the kind of player he wants to become, the work he needs to do on his bowling and even things like the kind of food he puts into his body, and he really committed to the things we decided," added the former Proteas coach.
Boucher was impressed by the stamina of the fast bowler on his return to first-class cricket in the Sunfoil Series against the Highveld Lions.
"Now you will probably find that after 17 or 18 overs in the legs, he is still running in hard, bowling quickly and causing problems for the batsmen."
Ngidi made his T20I debut against Sri Lanka earlier this year and had been earmarked for the tour to New Zealand until he injured himself in the field in his second match.