Australia batsman Shaun Marsh has been ruled out of the rest of the World Cup after suffering a broken arm while batting in the nets against team-mate Pat Cummins.
Thursday’s Old Trafford training session, which took place two days before reigning champions Australia’s final group game against South Africa at the Manchester ground, also saw all-rounder Glenn Maxwell struck a painful blow batting against left-arm quick Mitchell Starc.
No sooner had Maxwell been escorted away by medical staff after going down in pain when a rising delivery from Starc, the tournaments leading wicket-taker, reared up and hit him on the right forearm, than Marsh, batting in the same net, was struck on the wrist by Cummins.
Both players were sent to hospital for scans, with left-hander Marsh subsequently ruled out, although Maxwell has not suffered any serious damage according to Australia coach Justin Langer.
One consolation for Australia is that 35-year-old left-hander Marsh, who will be replaced by Peter Handscomb, has become the squads reserve batsman and has not featured in a World Cup match since he made three against Sri Lanka at the Oval last month.
The International Cricket Council confirmed Marsh’s exit from the World Cup in a statement, saying its event technical committee had approved Handscomb as a replacement for Marsh for the remainder of the tournament.
Meanwhile, Langer said it was “shattering news” that Marsh’s World Cup was over. “Shaun Marsh has had scans on his right forearm after being struck while practising in the nets at training today,” Langer said.
“Unfortunately, the scans have revealed Shaun has suffered a fracture to his forearm which will require surgery.
“This is obviously shattering news for Shaun and the squad. Throughout this tournament, his spirit, professionalism and the way he has competed has been typically outstanding.”
“We are right behind Shaun in his recovery and rehabilitation,” the former Australia opener added.
Langer, explaining why Handscomb had been called up, said: “Pete is a like for like player, in terms of batting in the middle order, and he performed very well for us during our recent tours in India and the UAE.”
Meanwhile, Langer was optimistic about Maxwell, saying: “We are hopeful he will be fit to perform for us on Saturday against South Africa.”
Australia have a maximum of three World Cup games left to play, with the South Africa match coming ahead of next weeks semi-finals and the final at Lords on July 14.