Travis Head suffers left hand fracture, availability for Australia in ODI World Cup to be determined

IANS Photo

IANS Photo

Centurion, September 16 (IANS): Australia are having an anxious time on whether star left-handed batter Travis Head will be fit in time to play at the upcoming Men's ODI World Cup after suffering a fracture in his left hand.

Head was forced to retire hurt when hurting his hand while trying to pull off pacer Gerald Coetzee during the fourth ODI against South Africa at Centurion on Friday and head coach Andrew McDonald confirmed after the game ended, where Australia lost by 164 runs, that he had picked up a fracture, 22 days away from the mega event.

"It's a confirmed fracture. As to the nature of what sort of time frame that lends itself to, that will be assessed tomorrow. I think he's going to go in for more scans tomorrow to get a detail of that, then we'll work out the management of it from there."

"I'm not a medical person but I think it's a bit higher up than the finger's in a joint (in the hand) somewhere. Fingers crossed with the World Cup fast approaching," McDonald was quoted as saying by the ICC.

Head, who was Player of the Match in this year’s World Test Championship final at The Oval, where Australia won by 209 runs, has been included in the preliminary 15-player squad for the ODI World Cup.

Now Head, 29, is facing a race against time to be fit for his side's opening match of the tournament against hosts India in Chennai on October 8. If Head is ruled out, then Australia have Marnus Labuschagne and Tim David among the candidates to replace him.

Teams competing at the World Cup have until September 28 to submit their final 15-player squads to the ICC for the tournament and changes can only be made after that date with permission from event organisers.