JAMES Pattinson’s place in the ICC Champions Trophy squad was placed in doubt today with the announcement of abdominal surgery for a non-sports condition.
Cricket Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Professor Justin Paoloni said in a statement that the fast bowler’s preparation for The Ashes was not expected to be affected but his availability for the ICC Champions Trophy would be determined later.
The news follows Cricket Australia’s request that the Champions Trophy squad be kept secret.
Pattinson’s latest setback adds to a series of woes and injuries that have befallen the Aussie team this Ashes year. Most concerning for the team is the condition of the captain. Michael Clarke is still recovering from the lower back and injuries which forced his withdrawal from the Fourth Test against India in March. He is sitting out the IPL season in the hope of being fit in time for the tour of England.
Professor Paolini said in a statement on March 26 that Clarke was having intensive rehabilitation but was still 7-10 weeks away from training and playing. Five days later on Easter Sunday, Clarke was hospitalised with gastroenteritis.
Injuries are also affecting the Australian women’s cricket squad. Fast bowler Ellyse Perry, 22, has had ankle surgery following a fracture in February that led to her withdrawal from the World Cup. Her expected return to bowling is 10-12 weeks away and she was expected to be fit for possible Ashes selection.
The women’s Ashes series will be held on August 11-14 at Wormsley Cricket Ground in Buckinghamshire and will be followed by three one-day-internationals and three Twenty 20 fixtures. The Australian women’s cricket team are the current Ashes holders after victory in Bankstown, Sydney in 2011.