Cricket World Cup: Injuries to key players threaten to take the shine away from showpiece event

The World Cup is only a few days away, but injuries to key players are threatening to ruin the grand spectacle.

Several players have picked up last-minute injuries, forcing teams to press the panic button. While some of them have been ruled out of the tournament, others could be available for the latter stages of the World Cup that starts on October 5. Here is a look at the ones who are injured at the moment, with their World Cup chances under a cloud:

Travis Head

More than the series defeat to South Africa, losing Head to a fractured arm hurt Australia the most. Was supposed to play an integral role in Australia’s quest for a record sixth World Cup title, but the fracture he sustained on his left arm makes Head doubtful for the whole tournament. While there is still hope that he could be ready for the second-half of the World Cup, there is no guarantee.

Anrich Nortje

In a telling blow for South Africa, Nortje, who is known for his scorching pace has been ruled out of the whole World Cup, alongside Sisanda Magala. While Magala’s performance at the death overs will be missed, not having Nortje, who is their X factor with the ball, will weaken the Proteas attack. Thanks to the IPL, Nortje knows the conditions in India and was lined up as their trump card to be used in the middle overs.

Tim Southee

This World Cup could have been a perfect swansong for Southee, who has been a great servant for the Kiwis. A very reliable new ball bowler who could do far too much damage, Southee dislocated his right thumb while fielding in an ODI against England earlier last week. He underwent a surgery on Thursday and a timeline on his comeback is yet to be ascertained. There is a strong chance he may miss the entire tournament or comeback for the last few matches.

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Naseem Shah

One of the casualties from the Asia Cup. During Pakistan’s match against India, the 20-year-old suffered an injury to his shoulder midway through his final over. Naseem was sent home immediately for further scans and following further assessments has been ruled out of the World Cup, where he was expected to form a lethal new ball pair with Shaheen Shah Afridi.

Ebadot Hossain

Bowled Bangladesh to a famous Test win in New Zealand and his stocks have been increasing gradually. But the Tigers will miss Ebadot at the World Cup due to an ACL injury he suffered during the ODIs against Afghanistan. The ACL injuries tend to be the worst as it can take up to six months to recover fully.

Dushmantha Chameera

Sri Lanka have too many players on their injury list that when they confirm their squad later this month, several of them will be subjected to clearing fitness tests. From Wanindu Hasaranaga to Maheesh Theekshana, their key bowlers are injured and are on road to recovery. However, pacer Chameera has been ruled out with a pectoral injury he suffered during the Lanka Premier League.

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