June 19, 2003

Irani 'may never bowl again'

Wisden CricInfo staff

Ronnie Irani's dreams of an England recall have been shattered after being advised by medical experts not to bowl again for the rest of his career, because of an arthritic right knee.

Even though he endured a nightmare in last winter's VB Series in Australia, and played little part in the World Cup, it's a cruel twist of fate for Irani. Only last July he forced himself into that England World Cup squad with a string of encouraging displays against Sri Lanka and India in the NatWest Series. The highlight was a shining allround effort of 53 and 5 for 26 against India at The Oval. That won him Man of the Match, but it's now game, set and match for his international career.

Irani has missed most of this domestic season for Essex with his injured knee, and frequent flights to a specialist in Munich have not improved its condition. Speaking to the club website, David East, Essex's chief executive, said: "Ronnie has been suffering from a chronic arthritic knee condition for some time which recently became more acute. He has received two world-renowned expert opinions on the condition and both have advised him to stop bowling and play as a batsman."

East added: "He is currently not bowling to enable the problem to settle down and to permit him to play as a batsman. No final decision has been made on his bowling future, and the situation is being closely monitored by the Club's medical team on a daily basis."