Usman Khawaja has avoided serious injury after being struck by an Andre Russell delivery in Australia’s seven-wicket win over the West Indies in Southampton.
Khawaja was forced off the field early in his innings in the World Cup warm-up match on Wednesday, after being hit by a ball that reared off a length and caught him under the grill on his helmet.
The Australian was immediately surrounded by the West Indies fielders and his former Sydney Thunder teammate Russell, before being led from the field by team doctor Richard Saw.
Subsequent hospital scans luckily failed to show any serious injury to the 32-year-old.
“It was very scary,” said batsman Shaun Marsh, who scored an unbeaten 55 and is vying with Khawaja for a starting spot against Afghanistan in the tournament opener on June 1.
“It copped him on the side of the cheekbone …. I’m not sure what is happening with him.
“But the main thing is he is OK and can bounce back pretty quickly.
“He was a bit shaken, as you are when you get hit on the head, but he is a tough cookie Uzzy and he’ll be ready to go.”
The Queensland batsman had been in imperious form in the series wins against India and Pakistan but is now in doubt for the match against England at the Ageas Bowl on Saturday.
He was preferred at the top of the order to David Warner, who batted at three, for the opening warm-up of the team’s World Cup preparations which Australia won by seven wickets.
Australia cruised to victory in 38.3 overs, with Steve Smith’s excellent form continuing as he struck 76, while Shaun Marsh also notched a fifty in the seven-wicket win.