World Cup 2015 news January 18, 2015

Ireland lose Murtagh for World Cup

ESPNcricinfo staff

Tim Murtagh (right) would have been a key part of Ireland's World Cup attack © West Indies Cricket

Ireland have suffered a serious blow ahead of the World Cup after Tim Murtagh was ruled out of the tournament with a fractured foot. Max Sorensen, the 29-year-old seamer, has been named as his replacement.

Murtagh picked up the injury on January 7 as he was training with Ireland at the start of their stay in the UAE where they are playing a triangular series in preparation for the World Cup. He underwent surgery in London last week after the extent of the problem was confirmed.

This would have been Murtagh's first World Cup after he made his debut for Ireland in 2012 by virtue of qualification through his grandparents. He added key experience to the attack and would have played a central role with the new ball.

Sorensen, who has taken 12 wickets in 22.58 in eight ODIs, was picked out as the unluckiest player to miss out on the original squad but was taken to Dubai for help with Ireland's warm-up.

"It is heart-breaking news for Tim so close to the World Cup and the squad and all staff at Cricket Ireland are thinking of him," Phil Simmons, the coach, said. "We are lucky that Max has been out here in Dubai with us as part of a group of fast-bowlers working with National Academy Manager Craig Hogan, and is well placed to join the squad straight away for what is a tough tournament ahead in Australia and New Zealand."

Alan Lewis, Ireland's chairman of selectors, added: "Obviously we all feel for Tim; it is the curse all sportsmen fear. The injury was worse than we feared and with timescales as they are and Tim's lack of match practice we had to make a quick decision.

"On the other hand one man's misfortune is another man's gain. I admired hugely the way Max took his bad news but I have even more respect for the way he reacted to it and now earned this spot in what is such a competitive area. We wish him all the best."