Usman Khawaja out of World Cup, Matthew Wade lined up as replacement


The hamstring strain Usman Khawaja picked up on Saturday in the game against South Africa has ruled him out of the World Cup, and out of action for three to four weeks, Australia coach Justin Langer has confirmed. Khawaja picked up the injury while batting in Australia’s chase of 326 at Old Trafford, and he came out to bat for a second time after retiring hurt initially, but they fell short by 10 runs.

Australia named Matthew Wade as cover for Khawaja on Sunday morning and will need the approval of the ICC’s event technical committee for the wicketkeeper-batsman to replace Khawaja in the squad.

“Ussie’s got a hamstring strain so he’ll be out for probably three to four weeks which is a real shame but we have to work hard on getting him up for the Ashes now,” Langer said. “Such a pity for him he’s been so integral to how we’ve been playing. Like Shaun [Marsh] I feel sad for him that he’s going to miss the World Cup semi-final.”

The other injury concern for Australia is allrounder Marcus Stoinis who clutched his right side after throwing a ball in from the boundary, and then bowled only three overs on Saturday. Mitchell Marsh joined the Australia squad as cover for Stoinis and will be a like-for-like replacement if they need one.

“And Marcus is the same, got another strain in his other side actually so we are working through that at the moment and we’ll have to make a decision on him in the next 24 to 48 hours,” Langer said of Stoinis. “Not in the final XI yet but Matthew Wade is coming up. He’s in great form, he’s had a great 12 or so months back home but he’s also just scored two hundreds in one-day cricket so he’s in great nick. And Mitch Marsh is going to come on standby for Stoinis to see how he comes up.

“Of course it’s frustrating but it’s also the business we’re in, it’s sport and all the teams have had injuries. You never like to have injuries at any time, let alone at the business end but it’s ok, we’ll deal with it. I’ve said all along we’ll keep dealing with it, we’ve dealt with it for the last 12 months. In all circumstances, and as difficult as it is for the boys in the team, we’ll deal with it.”

More to follow…

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