Australia news February 14, 2013

Hazlewood's foot injury woes continue

Josh Hazlewood will miss at least the first two matches for Australia A against the England Lions this month after his unfortunate litany of foot ailments was maintained during Australia's Twenty20 loss to the West Indies in Brisbane on Wednesday night.

Alister McDermott has been called up to replace Hazlewood for the two fixtures in Hobart, leaving Cricket Australia medical staff to determine whether he will be ready to return for the balance of the five-match series.

Figures of 1 for 36 at the Gabba did not do full justice to Hazlewood, who impressed with his height and bounce, claiming the wicket of Chris Gayle. But the news that he has again suffered foot trouble will be a source of concern for the national selectors given their desire to ease him into a more regular place at international level.

"Hazlewood suffered a foot injury during last night's T20I in Brisbane and as a result has been withdrawn from the first two matches of the Australia A series," A CA spokesman said. "A decision on his participation for the remaining fixtures will be determined once a further assessment has taken place."

At 22, Hazlewood is widely considered one of Australia's most promising pace prospects, his height and disciplined line providing a contrast tot he swing and pace of James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins.

However the selectors' efforts to increase Hazlewood's familiarity with the national team have been confounded numerous times by foot injuries. He was close to selection for the third Test against South Africa in Perth last year before a stress hot spot was located, keeping him out of the summer until the closing rounds of the Big Bash League.

Last summer Hazlewood was also absent for long periods with a foot stress fracture. He debuted for Australia against England at Southampton in 2010 but in a first-class career that began in 2008 he has still played only 16 matches.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments