With the World Cup already started and with the Super 12 stage of the competition getting underway on Saturday, a number of teams have been forced into last minute changes due to injury, whilst there are fitness concerns about several others.
Given the nature of the tournament and the hectic schedule of matches, more withdrawals and late changes of personnel can be expected over the next few weeks.
England fast bowler Reece Topley has been ruled out of the tournament completely. Whilst playing in a warm-up match against Pakistan earlier this week, he stepped on a boundary cushion and rolled his ankle.
A subsequent scan revealed that he had two torn ligaments in his left ankle, and it has been confirmed that he will fly home for further treatment.
He will be replaced in the squad by Tymal Mills, who was already in Australia as a travelling reserve.
It is an ironic twist of fortune for both men. Last year, midway through the 2021 World Cup it was Mills who was ruled out through injury, and Topley who replaced him on that occasion. Now the roles have been reversed.
The English are already without Jonny Bairstow, who was ruled out before the tournament even began, after breaking his leg in a freak accident whilst playing golf.
To prove how dangerous the game of golf can be for cricketers, Australia’s Josh Inglis has also been ruled out of the tournament after another accident on a course.
He was in the middle of a round at the New South Wales Golf Course Club on Wednesday, and had just played a six iron shot, when the shaft of the club snapped around the grip, cutting into his hands.
He immediately consulted a hand specialist, and, although there is no tendon damage, he has sustained an injury to the palm of his right hand, which is where he would be gripping the bat whilst at the crease, and, if he were required to keep wicket, that is where the ball would be impacting into his gloves.
Inglis was the back-up in the Australia squad to Matthew Wade, so was not necessarily due to start the first match against New Zealand in Sydney on Saturday. However, it does leave them a man light, and the Australian selectors will meet to name a replacement as a matter or priority.
All-rounder Cameron Green is favourite to take the vacant spot, although, if they want a replacement wicketkeeper, Alex Carey, Ben McDermott and Josh Phillipe are all in contention.
Sri Lanka may have rebounded from the humiliation of losing their first group game to Namibia to secure their place in the Super 12 stage of the competition, but they are going to have to manage without fast bowler Dushmantha Chameera.
He injured his left calf whilst bowling during their 79 run victory over the UAE, and team officials have already ruled him out. Instead, Kasun Rajitha has been asked to fly over for the rest of the event.
Chameera took 3-15 in that match and was just showing signs of hitting top form, so that is a big blow for his side.
Their team has been further weakened by the loss of top order batter Danushka Gunathilaka. He has a hamstring tear, and has been replaced by Ashen Bandara, who was already with the squad as a travelling reserve.
Although the UAE have become the first team to be eliminated from the competition – even if they beat Namibia in their final game further progress is beyond them – they were also forced into a squad change when all-rounder Zawar Farid injured a foot. He was replaced by Fahad Nawaz.
India have no new injured players, but, even before departing for Australia, their squad was hit by the withdrawal of two key players. Ravindra Jadeja injured his knee during India’s unsuccessful Asia Cup campaign, and required an operation to repair the damage.
He has begun his rehabilitation process, but no time frame has yet been put in his return to action.
Joining him on the side-lines is fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah who suffered a stress fracture in his lower back whilst bowling in the nets that will keep him out for at least three months.
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