London, Feb 9 (IANS) The England cricket team received a set-back after Eoin Morgan was ruled out of the World Cup with a broken finger.
The 24-year-old Dublin-born cricketer needs surgery after injuring the middle finger of his left hand in the fourth one-day international against Australia in Adelaide. Morgan played two further games with the injury.
Ravi Bopara now has a chance to stake his claim in a 15-man squad. But the loss of limited-overs specialist Morgan is a huge blow following some superb one-day and Twenty20 displays over the last 12 months.
England coach Andy Flower admitted it was a serious loss.
“Eoin Morgan won’t be going to the World Cup. He needs an operation and it’s a serious loss. He injured it in Adelaide and didn’t think it was serious at all but it got worse the more he played and practised. The pain grew worse and, under investigation, a crack was found,” Flower was quoted as saying by The Sun.
“He has been very influential since coming into the team. But Ravi, who is an exciting young player in his own right, will be joining us.”
Morgan’s injury is the latest in a long line of setbacks for Andrew Strauss and Co. Graeme Swann, Tim Bresnan, Ajmal Shahzad, Paul Collingwood, Stuart Broad and Chris Tremlett all picked up injuries during the three-month tour of Australia.
Andrew Strauss’ men fly for Bangladesh Saturday ahead of their World Cup opener with the Netherlands slated for Feb 22 at Nagpur in India.
Captain Strauss, however, is trying to look on the bright side ahead of England’s warm-up game against Canada in Dhaka next Wednesday.
“Some of our players have had a rest with injuries and are ready to rejoin us. Eoin is so disappointed to be missing out. Over the last 12 to 18 months, he has been our stand-out man in one-day cricket. Thankfully, he is a young bloke who will have plenty more chances but, for the time being, we’re going to have to make do without him,” Strauss told the daily.
Bopara didn’t take part in the 1-6 ODI series drubbing at the hands of Australia but is an experienced performer. He knows conditions on the sub-continent well as one of the few Englishmen to feature in the Indian Premier League (IPL).