2019 Cricket World Cup watch: Players under injury cloud

With a little more than three months to go until the start of the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, there are several teams with injury concerns. The deadline to submit final 15-man squads for the World Cup is April 23, and this brings under the spot light a few big names.

South African allrounder JP Duminy‘s expected return to the ODI team for the series with Sri Lanka next month has been stalled, with news emerging this week that he requires more time to rehabilitate a sore shoulder. Duminy has not played for South Africa since October after undergoing surgery and according to reports from his domestic franchise Cape Cobras, the veteran is not 100% yet. (READ: Shoulder injury leaves JP Duminy doubtful for Sri Lanka ODIs)

The veteran allrounder Mohammad Hafeez is another international cricketer currently sidelined, with this PSL franchise Lahore Qalandars on Monday announcing that he a fracture thumb requires surgery. This means that Hafeez, the veteran of 208 ODIs, is out for four to six weeks, leaving him almost certain to miss Pakistan’s ODI series against Australia in the UAE.

Australia are hopeful that injured fast bowler Mitchell Starc will be available for that tour, having been ruled out of the preceding India trip. Starc sustained a left pectoral injury during the recent Canberra Test against Sri Lanka. (READ: Injured Mitchell Starc targets Pakistan ODIs)

Starc’s fast-bowling partner Josh Hazlewood has been ruled out of India and Pakistan series but is confident of getting fit for World Cup. Hazlewood suffered a stress fracture during the final Test against India in January and is being closely monitored by Australia’s medical staff.

Australia play their first World Cup group game against Afghanistan in Bristol on June 1.

Mitchell Starc was ruled out of Australia's Twenty20 and one-day tour of India with a "substantial" muscle tear
Starc was ruled out of Australia’s tour of India with a “substantial” muscle tear.

Former Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews was forced out of the recent New Zealand tour with a grade two strain in his left hamstring. He subsequently missed two Tests in Australia and is not part of Sri Lanka’s Test or ODI squads for the ongoing tour of South Africa.

Bangladesh are waiting on Shakib Al Hasan‘s fitness reports after the allrounder was ruled out of Bangladesh’s tour of New Zealand with a fractured finger.

The banned pair of Steve Smith and David Warner are also sidelined with injury. Warner underwent surgery on his elbow last month as the countdown to the end of his ban closes in, and is expected to resume batting next week. Smith had surgery on his elbow in January too and the first step of his recovery required him to spend six weeks with his right arm in a brace. Smith hopes to use the IPL as a comeback to Australia’s World Cup squad.

In a blow to West Indies’ changes at this summer’s showpiece ODI event, the allrounder Andre Russell recently cited a dodgy knee as reason to sit out the ODI series against England over worries of lasting 50 overs.