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Availability of Travis Head for ODI World Cup doubtful following fracture in hand

Australia star left-handed batter Travis Head’s participation in the upcoming Men’s ODI World Cup has become doubtful after he suffered a fracture in his left hand on Friday.

During the fourth ODI of the five-match series against hosts South Africa on Friday, Head was forced to retire hurt after hurting his hand while trying to pull off pacer Gerald Coetzee. Australia head coach Andrew McDonald later confirmed that Head suffered a fracture.

Notably, Australia lost the game by 164 runs at Centurion.

“It’s a confirmed fracture. As to the nature of what sort of time frame that lends itself to, that will be assessed tomorrow. I think he’s going to go in for more scans tomorrow to get a detail of that, then we’ll work out the management of it from there. I’m not a medical person but I think it’s a bit higher up than the finger itself…it’s in a joint (in the hand) somewhere. Fingers crossed with the World Cup fast approaching,” McDonald was quoted as saying by the ICC.

Head, who was Player of the Match in this year’s World Test Championship (WTC) final at The Oval, has already been included in the 15-member Australia squad for the upcoming showpiece event.

Head, 29, is now facing a race against time to be fit for Australia’s campaign opener of the ODI World Cup against hosts India in Chennai on October 8. Reportedly, Australia would rope in either Marnus Labuschagne or Tim David as replacement if Head gets ruled out of the tournament.

Notably, all the teams participating at the 2023 ODI World Cup have a deadline till September 28 to submit their final 15-member squad to the ICC for the tournament. Any amendment after that can only be made following the permission of the event organisers.