Shaun Marsh has been ruled out of the 2019 Cricket World Cup, while Glenn Maxwell is racing the clock to be passed fit ahead of the knockout stages as the duo were both injured at training on Thursday.
Marsh, who has fractured his arm after copping a short ball from Pat Cummins during a firey training session, has been confirmed to need surgery on the injury and will take no further place in the Cricket World Cup, and likely, The Ashes to follow, although recovery and return to play time is not yet known for the much-maligned veteran.
Marsh will be replaced in the squad with immediate effect by batsmen Peter Handscomb, who also provides Australia some security with the gloves for the first time this series, should Alex Carey be injured or fall ill.
The 35-year-old has only taken part in two games so far at the World Cup.
Maxwell, on the other hand, was also hit in the forearm as Mitchell Starc got a short ball through, however, the exciting all-rounder has been cleared of any serious damage.
The Australian camp are hopeful Maxwell, who hasn’t missed a game of the World Cup campaign to date and has been crucial both with the bat in the middle order and with the ball during the middle overs, will be fit to play on Saturday against South Africa in Australia’s final group stage game.
With the finals starting on Tuesday, and Australia likely to play in the first vs fourth fixture should they beat South Africa, it will mean Maxwell has just three further days to be passed as fit should he fail to play in the South Africa game.
Justin Langer said it was awful news for the side.
“This is obviously shattering news for Shaun and the squad,” said coach Justin Langer.
“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.
“Glenn Maxwell also underwent scans after he was struck on his right forearm in the nets.
“The scans have cleared Glenn of any serious damage and we’ll continue to monitor him over the coming days. We are hopeful he will be fit to perform for us on Saturday against South Africa.”
Handscomb, who was labelled unlucky to miss the World Cup squad in the first place, has scored 149 runs in his three innings playing for Australia A in England, and has looked in good form ahead of his call into the World Cup squad.