Fleming shaken and stirred by Bangladesh loss March 7, 2007

Gillespie struggles with shoulder nerve problem

Cricinfo staff



Let the Bangladesh celebrations begin © AFP

Mark Gillespie, the New Zealand fast bowler, has been diagnosed with an uncommon nerve disorder in his right shoulder that threatens to delay his World Cup entry. The problem, which New Zealand officials called acute brachial neuritis, was the result of a throat virus Gillespie suffered before leaving for the Caribbean last week.

Gillespie's bowling arm became numb during the long flight to the West Indies and he will return to a specialist in Barbados on Friday. News of Gillespie's nerve inflammation was a double blow for New Zealand, who suffered their first defeat to Bangladesh on Tuesday.

New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming had hoped Gillespie's problem would be a short-term issue, but the bowler is likely to miss Friday's warm-up against Sri Lanka. A New Zealand spokesman said Gillespie was on medication and he would have a greater idea of his playing prospects when he returned to the specialist.

Fleming said New Zealand were shaken by the upset loss to Bangladesh in their opening warm-up game. The side came to the Caribbean with high hopes of progressing deep into the tournament after a cleansweep of Australia, but they face some rebuilding after being humbled by the No. 9-ranked Bangladesh.

Despite the painful two-wicket defeat, which was sealed by Mashrafe Mortaza's two sixes off James Franklin, Fleming refused to offer any excuses. "There's not a lot we can say, I guess it's a result that just shakes you up," Fleming told Reuters. "We just didn't play well. It gives us some headaches and I suppose you can say it's a wake-up call before the tournament starts.

"Nothing went right. We batted poorly at the beginning and did not assess conditions that well. We knew it was going to be tricky at the start and we fell flat on our faces. We were always there in the game. We fought back after a poor start and if we had reached 250, we would have won the game. But they fielded brilliantly, they just kept coming at us. We just couldn't shake them."

It was a morale-boosting win for Bangladesh ahead of their first round matches against India, Sri Lanka and Bermuda. "It was a very good win and naturally we are pleased," said captain Habibul Bashar. "We are moving in the right direction."

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