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November 23, 2005
Brunt dived to field a ball during India's first innings on the first day and fell awkwardly, injuring her hand. Sue Hughes, the England physiotherapist, said: "Katherine's fall resulted in a spiral fracture of the fifth metacarpal bone in her left hand. The hand has been put in a cast to immobilise the fracture and to prevent further damage. Unfortunately the risk of exacerbating the injury means she will currently be unable to play in any capacity, although we expect her to make a full recovery."
Nicki Shaw, the medium pacer, has been drafted in as Brunt's replacement and she is due to join the squad on Thursday. "Firstly I'm sad for Katherine that she has to return to England at this stage in the tour," said Shaw. "She's been playing some great cricket and I know what a loss she'll be. It's a great opportunity for me to show what I can do and I'm delighted to have been picked as first reserve. I'm really looking forward to putting an England shirt back on and I'm fully prepared to go and join the squad on their tour of India."
Richard Bates, the head coach, added:"Obviously I'm extremely disappointed for Katherine. She has been a key performer for us on this tour so far and it will definitely be a loss to our bowling department. She's a very talented cricketer and a lovely girl and she'll be missed both on and on the field. The important thing now is for us to regroup and make sure we stay strong as a squad. We need to look forward to the remaining matches with a positive mindset.
"We've decided to bring in Nicki Shaw, which is a great opportunity for her having been left out over the summer against the Australians. We've still got plenty of bowling options - we'll just have to rethink our opening partnerships, but there's enough depth in the side to overcome this."
Before leaving India, Brunt said: "I'm gutted that I have to return home early from this tour of India. I was playing well and really looking forward to the one-day series. It's a huge blow for me, but out of my control. I wish all the girls the best of luck for the rest of the tour. I'm sure they'll do well and I'll be following their progress from England."
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