April 28, 2010 By Krishna
Injury woes continued for the experienced Australian pace bowler Brett Lee ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup hampering his hopes of making an international comeback with the tournament. Lee sustained a muscle strain in his right forearm during a warm-up match held in St. Lucia on Tuesday in which Australia suffered a shocking one-run defeat at the hands of the Zimbabwe side.
Lee, who took one wicket in the spell of four overs giving 13 runs, experienced pain in his bowling arm during the match. According to the Cricket Australia spokesman, Lee’s latest injury is a muscle strain on the inner side of the elbow of the right arm and the problem is not a reoccurrence of the elbow injury for which he had undergone a surgery recently.
The 33-year old pacer has been struggling with a series of injury problems in the past. In the last one year, he had suffered from ankle and foot injuries and was out of the Australian side since October 2009 due to an elbow injury. Further, a fracture in the thumb of his right hand forced Lee to end his IPL 2010 stint after playing just four matches for his team, Kings XI Punjab.
The injury came as a major setback for Lee who had called up his retirement from Test cricket in February this year in order to extend his career successfully in the shorter formats of the game.
Ryan Harris has been named as the replacement player for Brett Lee in the 15- member Australian squad for the World Cup following the permission by the International Cricket Council’s technical committee to the effect. The right-arm medium pacer had been in outstanding form in all the three formats of the game with successful series against Pakistan and New Zealand, followed by the excellent performance at the IPL.
Earlier, it was expected that either Doug Bollinger or Ryan Harris were to replace Brett Lee for the tournament as both the bowlers had performed impressively during the Indian Premier League for their respective teams. However, it was Harris who got the ticket to the Caribbean owing to his being in form and also holding experience in representing Australia twice in Twenty20 matches, one each against West Indies and New Zealand. Bollinger, on the other hand, is yet to play a Twenty20 game for Australia.
Grouped alongside the defending champions Pakistan and Bangladesh, Australia shall play the second warm-up match on Thursday against the Windward Islands before starting their World Cup campaign against Pakistan on May 2 in St. Lucia. Their second game in the group stage will be against Bangladesh on May 5 in Barbados.
Author: Meenal Johari (Agra)
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