'Injury-prone' Watson pulls out from Zimbabwe ODI tour
Cricket Australia (CA) has revealed that Australian all-rounder Shane Watson has been forced to pull out from Zimbabwe tour with an ankle injury and has been replaced by Phil Hughes.
CA said that the injury-prone Watson sprained an ankle after stepping on a ball during training in Brisbane on Saturday.
Australian team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said in a statement that Watson on Saturday sprained his right ankle at training, damaging an ankle ligament, Sport24 reported.
The statement said that the all-rounder's ankle is swollen and sore, but he is expected to recover with a period of rest. It added that due to the compact nature of the tour, CA has made a decision that Watson would be unlikely to recover sufficiently in time for the series.
The statement further said that Watson would return to Sydney in the coming days to continue his recovery and be ready for the tour of the United Arab Emirates.
Chief selector Rod Marsh said Hughes was the natural replacement for Watson. He said that, as he has previously stated, Hughes was unlucky not to be picked in the initial squad after showing some great form in the Australia A series and was the natural choice to come in for Watson.
Marsh said that the selection panel is very happy with the bowling depth in the squad but Watson's absence has meant another top order batsman is necessary.
Hughes will join the squad in Brisbane pending the situation of the Australia A match against South Africa A in Townsville in north Queensland.
The Australia team leaves on Wednesday for a triangular one-day series against Zimbabwe and South Africa in Zimbabwe, starting on August 25, the report added.
(Posted on 17-08-2014)