Injured Watson, Hopes and Bracken to miss IPL (Lead)

May 8th, 2009 - 8:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, May 8 (IANS) The Aussie team’s medical staff have ruled out the injured all-rounders Shane Watson (Rajasthan Royals) and James Hopes (Kings XI Punjab) and medium-pacer Nathan Bracken (Bangalore Royal Challengers) from playing in the ongoing Indian Premier League II, but cleared all-rounders Andrew Symonds of Deccan Chargers and Knight Riders’ David Hussey and Punjab paceman Brett Lee.
Watson, the Player of the IPL last year, has a groin injury while Hopes and Bracken have minor knee problems, reports the Australian media.

“Watson has a groin injury and will return home to be ready for the World Twenty20,” Australian team spokesman Lachy Patterson said in Dubai after the Australia-Pakistan Twenty20 game Thursday.

The 27-year-old Watson injured his groin while batting against Pakistan, while Australian team doctor Trevor James said Bracken and Hopes should be rested so that they are completely fit for the Twenty20 World Cup next month.

“While these injuries were not severe to rule them out of the final Twenty20 clash against Pakistan, it has been decided that a period of rest and rehabilitation over the next two to three weeks will be the best preparation for both the players ahead of the World Cup in England,” James was quoted as saying in the Sydney Morning Herald.

The six Australians players were to fly to South Africa after their side’s final match against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Thursday.

Watson, Hopes and Bracken were disappointed to be left out but their agents insists they understand the reason behind CA’s decision.

“He was keen as mustard to play ,” Rob Horton, Bracken’s agent was quoted as saying by website Cricinfo.

“He was prepared to go and get the release from Cricket Australia, but he was not granted medical clearance so couldn’t go. He’s disappointed, but he can also see the bigger picture here.

Watson’s injury is not expected to restrict his involvement in the World Twenty20 but has come in terms with it.

“I spoke to him briefly before he got on the plane from Dubai, and he was pretty philosophical about it,” Dave Flaskas, Watson’s agent, said. “His view was that that he would have liked to play, but now a decision has been made and he wants to make the best of it. Obviously there is a commercial downside to it.”

The Cricket Australia’s (CA)decision has got the backing of South African coach Mickey Arthur. Arthur said he would have done the same thing as Australia had to play the Ashes almost immediately after the Twenty20 World Cup in England in June.

“There is an element of risk in having so many of our World Twenty20 players playing in the IPL, but the key lies in what happens after,” Arthur said.

“Australia have the important Ashes coming up immediately after. I would have done the same thing if I was on their side.”

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