Injury puts Russell out of World Cup
MANCHESTER, England, (CMC):
West Indies lost their gamble with Andre Russell's fitness yesterday when the injury-plagued all-rounder was forced out of their beleaguered World Cup campaign, after failing to recover from a long-standing knee injury.
The injury-plagued 31-year-old managed just four games of West Indies' six outings in somewhat of a farcical experiment and will now be replaced by batsman Sunil Ambris, who was a part of the side's pre-tournament camp in Southampton last month.
Russell's withdrawal comes as little surprise despite West Indies' insistence he would continue to feature in the World Cup campaign.
The Jamaican has been in visible discomfort throughout the tournament, often hobbling around while fielding and repeatedly forced to leave the field for treatment during matches.
He missed the Windies' outing against New Zealand and in his last match against Bangladesh one week ago, also struggled in sending down six overs.
All told, Russell managed just five wickets from 19 overs at an average of 20, and made 36 runs from three innings, including a two-ball 'duck' against Bangladesh.
His biggest impact came in his side's opener against Pakistan when he snatched two wickets for four runs in a hostile three-over spell that helped send the Asians crashing for a meagre 105 in Nottingham, setting up the Windies' only win to date.
Captain Jason Holder had acknowledged following the eight-wicket defeat to England that Russell was struggling with fitness issues, but said they planned to do everything possible to have him available for the rest of the tournament.
"It's been difficult so far for him. We have been trying our best to keep him on the park, but it is proving difficult," Holder told reporters then.
"Going forward, we have to persist. He is here for a reason. We think he can be a match winner for us. We have just got to cope with him. Got to do everything we possibly can with him to keep him on the park."