Tait and Hogg miss Super Series
Australia suffered a double injury blow today with Shaun Tait and Brad Hogg ruled out of the Super Series. Tait is expected to miss at least three months with a right-shoulder problem while Hogg suffered torn left-knee cartilage at training yesterday.
Stuart Clark, the New South Wales bowler who was twice on standby during the Ashes series, will step in for Tait during the one-day series and Cameron White, the Victoria legspinner, replaces Hogg. Tait experienced pain while bowling for his Adelaide club side Sturt on Saturday and again during training this morning.
A Cricket Australia spokesman said diagnostic scans and a review by the specialist Greg Hoy showed Tait had torn cartilage and he was expected to undergo surgery later in the week. "Cricket Australia's medical staff anticipate that he will be sidelined for a minimum of three months," the spokesman said.
The injury is a severe blow for Tait after he performed solidly in two Tests during the Ashes series and was in line for a limited-overs debut at the Telstra Dome in Melbourne this week. He will have to recover ahead of schedule to play a Test this summer and will probably look to the South Africa tour in March for an international recall.
Hogg, who is expected to miss between three and six weeks, was also disappointed to pull out of the three ODIs and will have surgery tomorrow. "I will get back to Perth tonight and get straight on the operating table tomorrow lunch-time," Hogg told AFP at the official tournament launch today. "It's disappointing, but that's the way it goes. I may never have an opportunity like this again, to be a part of such a prestigious event."
Errol Alcott, the Australia physiotherapist, said Hogg was in pain after a training session on Sunday. "MRI scans taken earlier today have revealed the cartilage tear," he said, "but we are confident that with the correct surgery he will make a full recovery."
Ricky Ponting said White was likely to come into the team for the first of the three matches on Wednesday. "There's a good opportunity for an up-and-coming legspinner to get a chance to play some cricket for Australia," he said. "With a negative there always comes a positive, so that's the positive side to it."
White, 22, knows the Australian set-up after touring India in 2004, and he picked up the wickets of Shahid Afridi and Chris Gayle in the World XI's warm-up against Victoria on Sunday. He has played 39 first-class games for Victoria, who he has captained since 2003-04, and 38 domestic limited-overs matches.