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Cann out of Cup Match

Heroic innings: Cann grabs a stump as a souvenir after hitting the winning boundary in St George’s thrilling two-wicket victory at Wellington Oval in 2010

Lionel Cann, the veteran St George’s batsman, is in hospital and has been ruled out of Cup Match.

Cann went to the hospital in the early hours of Wednesday morning where tests revealed a blood clot on his lung. He has been advised not to play cricket this season which effectively rules him out of contention for Cup Match at Wellington Oval in 12 days time.

“I had a little pain in my side through the week and it got worst so I came down to the hospital at three in the morning and they ran tests and found a clot on my lung,” said Cann yesterday from the hospital.

“Obviously I will have to take blood thinners and you don’t want to play any contact sports. The doctor has recommended no sports and obviously my health is more important than sports.”

Cann, at 42, is the most senior player of the present Cup Match players, playing 21 years since his debut in 1993 and the fifth player to reach 1,000 runs in the classic.

The setback could spell the end of Cann’s playing career, though he hasn’t ruled out a return next season for his club, Warwick, where he is the player-coach.

“It’s not the activity part, I can train, but the problem is getting a hit,” Cann said. “I’m definitely ruled out of Cup Match, I won’t be playing any more cricket this year.

“I was looking to finish at home this year, or in two years, so it is upsetting to hear the news, obviously. Now I have to move forward and do what’s best for me and my family.

“I’ve had time to think about it and I’m sure it will hurt more as the game comes, but it puts life in perspective.

“I’ve been blessed with 21 years of Cup Match so you take the positives and move on. I’ll just take the blessings that I’ve had. I’ve never been sick before in my life.”

Cann joined the 1,000-run club in 2013, two years after leading St George’s to a thrilling two-wicket victory at Wellington Oval with knocks of 38 and 49 not out. His only century also came at Wellington Oval in 2009, when he scored 104 after being dismissed for 99 the year before in Somerset.

Cann’s absence will rob the team of their most experienced batsmen, and there is talk the challengers could make a few changes to the team which will be led this year by OJ Pitcher. Oronde Bascome stood down as captain last year and subsequently left the club to play for Southampton Rangers in the league.

“It’s a setback a bit but it gives somebody else the opportunity to stamp their authority, in much the same way that I came into the game when I replaced the likes of Clevie [Wade] and Noel [Gibbons],” said Cann, a former St George’s captain.

“I’ve just been blessed to have so many years, so many good memories and so many accomplishments. It’s not the end of the world.”