Injury rules Broad out of World Cup
CHITTAGONG, Bangladesh (Reuters) Fast bowler Stuart Broad has been ruled out of the World Cup with a side strain, his exit delivering a second body blow in as many days to England's hopes.
“He's ruled out of the World Cup and he's flying home tomorrow,” an England spokesman said.
On Monday, batsman Kevin Pietersen said he was heading back home as he needed immediate attention on a hernia.
However, while Pietersen had struggled to make an impact in the sub-continent, England's hopes of winning their first 50-over trophy had relied a lot on Broad's form.
Broad was largely responsible for England's dramatic six-run win over South Africa on Sunday as he claimed the last two wickets in four balls to seal the win. He finished with 4-15.
The 24-year-old generated swing and much-needed aggression to torment the South African batsmen and made sure England's meagre total of 171 could not be equalled.
His injury could not have come at a worse time for England as he has been their main strike bowler throughout, taking six wickets in three matches. He missed the game against India with an upset stomach.
“Stuart felt some discomfort following the South Africa match and our initial assessment indicated a strain to his left side,” England and Wales Cricket Board chief medical officer Nick Peirce said in a statement.
“Subsequent scans have confirmed a significant side strain injury where the muscle attaches the rib that will rule him out of the remainder of the World Cup.
“This ... requires a period of recuperation and rehabilitation and the duration of this recovery period will be determined following further assessment in the UK.”
England have yet to apply for a replacement but pace bowler Chris Tremlett appeared to be the front runner to take Broad's place as he has been travelling with the players despite not being a member of the 15-man squad.
A forlorn Broad, who missed the last three Ashes Tests with an abdominal muscle tear, almost seemed resigned to his fate when he had spoken to reporters earlier yesterday to explain his injury.
“I think I have got a little side niggle, I'm not sure how serious it is at the moment,” Broad told a news conference.
“I have never had a side strain in this manner before so I don't really know the symptoms.
“It's a bit sore ... but that might be just after a vigorous couple of games in a few days. It's quite a common injury for bowlers.
“If it is an actual side strain or tear, it is something you have to be very careful of and make sure you take your time to get fit and not rush back.
“But obviously, I'll be bitterly disappointed if it is the end of my World Cup.”
It was a feeling Pietersen knew only too well as he returned to Britain to undergo hernia surgery. He was replaced by Eoin Morgan, who arrived in Chittagong yesterday.
Morgan, a dangerous middle-order batsman, had been withdrawn from the squad with a broken finger but Pietersen's exit earned him a recall.
“He's (Morgan's) been our best one-day batsman for the past year, he's won us games single-handedly. I know the whole squad are excited about his arrival,” Broad said yesterday.
“We know what a skilful player he is and what he can add to this team, so it's a big boost to have him in the side because we know he can win games and plays spin particularly well.”
England lie second in Group B with five points and with two games remaining. The top four teams from each group progress to the quarter-finals.
Their next match is against co-hosts Bangladesh on Friday in Chittagong.