IPL news April 4, 2011

Pune wait on Mathews fitness

Pune Warriors have not ruled out playing Sri Lanka allrounder Angelo Mathews in the IPL despite the player saying he has a pulled muscle that will take about eight weeks to heal.

The franchise wants to have their team physio evaluate the player's injury and decide whether or not Mathews can recover in time to play a part in the tournament, Abhijit Sarkar, director of Sahara Adventure Sports Limited, told ESPNcricinfo. The franchise begins its final camp for the tournament on Tuesday at the DY Patil stadium in Mumbai, and Mathews will be examined over the next few days. If it is determined that his injury will not heal in time, then the team will look for a replacement player.

Mathews left the field during the World Cup semi-final against New Zealand with a minor quadriceps muscle injury, and his movement was hampered when he came out to bat with a runner. He played a crucial role in Sri Lanka's campaign, as back-up seamer and middle-order batsman, and Sri Lanka missed his all-round skills in the final, which they lost by six wickets. His place in the squad was taken by offspinner Suraj Randiv.

A rash of injured players has forced a number of franchises to scrimmage for replacement players. Kings XI Punjab signed Ryan McLaren after losing Stuart Broad and Dimitri Mascarenhas to long-term injuries. Mumbai Indians have also signed a replacement player, snapping up Sri Lanka fast bowler Dilhara Fernando for Australia fast bowler Clint Mckay, while Deccan Chargers have to do without the services of Kevin Pietersen, who is recovering from hernia surgery.

Australian allrounder Moises Henriques is the latest addition to the list of injured. "For the Mumbai fans, I've just had surgery and won't be able to take part in this years IPL," Henriques tweeted. "Very disappointing but I'll see you next year!"

Under IPL rules, the replacements have to be chosen from the pool of players who went unsold in the January auction, and cannot be paid more than the players they are replacing, though they can be paid less, depending on their base price in the auction. This limits the choice of players to those whose base price is equivalent to, or less than, the players being replaced.

Tariq Engineer is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo

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