Sport Cricket Three injured Aussie cricketers sent home
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Three injured Aussie cricketers sent home

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Australia’s injury crisis has deepened with Nathan Coulter-Nile joining teammates David Warner and Shane Watson in being ruled out for the remainder of Australia’s one-day series with England.

All three players sustained the injuries in Saturday’s game-two victory over England at Lord’s, with paceman Coulter-Nile suffering a low-grade hamstring strain.

Coulter-Nile is expected to be back bowling again within two weeks, but that won’t allow him time to recover for any of the remaining three ODI fixtures to be played in the next seven days.

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The West Australian will fly back to Australia from Manchester on Monday, as will Warner, who will miss between four and six weeks with a broken thumb.

Watson flew out of London on Sunday having suffered a recurrence of a calf injury, which prompted him to also announce his Test retirement.

With his squad ravaged by injuries, coach Darren Lehmann called on a trio of Victorians as replacements.

Twenty20 captain Aaron Finch, veteran fast bowler John Hastings and wicketkeeper batsman Peter Handscomb have all been pulled from their county sides to be available for selection for game three in Manchester on Tuesday.

The triple blow to Lehmann and captain Steve Smith is a major setback in the world champions’ quest to seal the best-of-five series, which they currently lead 2-0.

Team management looked at the possibility of flying replacements over from Australia before settling on the locally-based players, all of whom are capable of contributing straight away according to Lehmann.

Handscomb and Hastings admitted their shock at the call-up, which for 29-year-old Hastings ended an international exile of three years.

“It’s a little bit of a surprise as I haven’t played for Australia since 2012 but I never gave up hope and thought that if I kept on doing the right thing then I would have a chance,” said Hastings, who has played 11 ODIs.

“In the past when I’ve had the opportunity I’ve not taken it with both hands and so to get another opportunity is great.”

Finch is expected to slot straight into the opening spot vacated by Warner, with Victorian quick James Pattinson heavily favoured to step straight in and join a pace attack led by speedsters Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins.

The final spot will most likely go to either Marcus Stoinis, the young allrounder who made his international debut in Australia’s Twenty20 loss to England in Cardiff, or left-arm spinner Ashton Agar, who famously scored 98 on his Test debut during the 2013 Ashes.

– AAP

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