Allrounder pulls hamstring during practice April 7, 2007

Ireland suffer Botha injury blow

Cricinfo staff

Andre Botha's steadiness with ball has been a factor in Ireland's success so far in the Caribbean © AFP

A hamstring injury sustained during training has put Ireland allrounder Andre Botha's availability for the game with New Zealand on April 9 in doubt. Botha felt his hamstring tighten during a game of touch rugby in Georgetown, and missed the practice session which followed.

"The next 48 hours are crucial," Iain Knox, the team physio, said as Ireland await details of the extent of the problem.

Botha's contributions to Ireland's World Cup campaign, while unspectacular, have been consistent. He took 2 for 5 from eight overs in the upset over Pakistan in the first round and although they have not won a game since then, Ireland have remained competitive in the games against England and South Africa.

Botha's injury creates an opportunity for Kenneth Caroll, who has not played since the warm-up win over Canada on March 8 in Trinidad.

Ireland have received a good luck message from the Duke of York, who met team officials during a visit to Guyana.

"I've been following the competiton on the television, and like everyone else I'm delighted that you have reached the Super 8 phase," he said. "You have certainly enhanced the Cup with your spirit, and it's great to see a team with a smile on their faces. I wish you every success in the rest of your games, and hopefully you'll pull off another memorable victory."