New Zealand news August 28, 2010

Injury-ravaged Jacob Oram targets World Cup

Cricinfo staff

New Zealand allrounder Jacob Oram has said that he is not yet ready to retire and is determined to play the 2011 World Cup despite another knee injury, which forced him out of the tri-series in Sri Lanka and also next month's Champions League Twenty20. Oram said he was targeting the home series against Pakistan, which begins on Boxing Day, for a comeback.

"I'm looking at that [World Cup] as the carrot for me because I need something to keep me focused or I will probably slip into 'woe is me' mode and look at the 'R' word. I'm not ready for that yet," Oram told the Dominion Post. "Obviously my body has gone past the hinting period - I think it's yelling at me. But I'm pretty stubborn and I still have this big goal of going to the World Cup.

"If I miss the World Cup, then recover to a stage where I feel as good as I can, I may keep going. But it just may be one kick in the guts too many if I don't make the World Cup."

Oram's latest setback - patella tendon damage - occurred in Dambulla, where New New Zealand were competing in a tri-series against Sri Lanka and India, and he had to fly home before the campaign was over. Oram had hoped the injury would require only minor surgery but scans revealed that it needed a full repair job and he is set to undergo surgery next week.

The setback was the latest one in a tough year for Oram, who forfeited his IPL fee after suffering a torn patella during the ODIs against Australia in March. He made it back for the ICC World Twenty20 but continued to feel pain and aggravated the problem again during a camp in Australia in July. Oram will now miss out on Central Districts campaign in the lucrative Champions League Twenty20 in South Africa.

"There are a number of reasons why this is terrible timing, and probably the reason why this is the hardest injury I've had to deal with," he said. "With the amount of injuries and limited game time I've had, my form has dipped and with that a bit of confidence. I've also slipped down the batting order so I'm thinking, if I give bowling up, they're not going to pick me as a specialist batter at seven or eight."

On a brighter note, Oram returned home from Sri Lanka to find that his eight-month-old son had begun crawling and said despite his injuries that " things could be a lot worse".