New Zealand news November 24, 2008

Oram suffers finger injury

Cricinfo staff

Breaking news: Jacob Oram © Getty Images

New Zealand allrounder Jacob Oram's availability for the home series against West Indies has been thrown in doubt after he suffered a hairline fracture to his left index finger. The incident occured while attempting a sharp catch at gully for Central Districts in the State Championship match against Northern Districts in Hamilton on Monday.

Having opted out of the ongoing tour of Australia after sustaining a back injury in the first Test against Bangladesh last month, Oram was looking to return to full fitness in time for the first Test against West Indies starting December 11 in Dunedin.

"I've got to a point now where I wasn't disappointed, I just had a laugh," Oram told Radio Sport."I just thought 'who have I annoyed so much to keep throwing this at me'. Hopefully it's character-building."

An x-ray cleared him of any tendon damage but it is uncertain how much impact the injury will have on Oram. He, however, sounded hopeful of playing a role in the final three days of the ongoing match at Seddon Park if the swelling reduced.

"But to what extent, I don't know," he said. "There's no point going out there if I'm going to do myself or the team a disservice, especially with the big picture in mind.

"This has thrown a spanner in the works but it could be worse."

Oram was desperate to prove his fitness and continued bowling a short spell even after suffering the injury. However, the worst-case scenario may see the fracture taking up to a month to heal.

"I've got to show that I'm bowling-fit and capable of getting through overs. While I could still bowl and the right arm and the right hand were functioning properly, I thought I'd just continue bowling my overs. When I finished that spell, I came off, got it iced," he said.

This is not the first time that Oram has suffered a career-threatening injury. He was forced out of the Napier Test against England earlier this year and, in the return series, pulled out of the Twenty20 international at Old Trafford after injuring himself in the warm-up. He was ruled out of the first three ODIs but returned for the last two matches.

He was also left out the Chennai Super Kings squad for the inaugural Champions League starting December 3 due to his injured back.

West Indies will play Two Tests, two Twenty20 internationals and five ODIs on their tour of New Zealand.