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March 10, 2014
Joe Root has, as expected, been ruled out of the World T20 due to the broken thumb which forced him to leave the tour of West Indies last week. Ian Bell, who has not played a Twenty20 match since January 2011, has been approved by ICC as his replacement.
Root was struck on the thumb on the third ball of his innings during the final ODI in Antigua and despite advice to retire hurt, he continued to score his maiden one-day hundred and help England to a series win. He still managed to open the bowling before leaving the field for treatment, and subsequent x-rays showed the extent of the damage. An ECB spokesman commented that the x-rays revealed that Root's thumb is "in eight pieces."
He returned to the UK to see a specialist and although he has not been required to have the thumb pinned, the timescale to the World T20 is too narrow for him to make a return. England's first group match is on March 22 against New Zealand.
On Twitter, Root posted: "Bitterly disappointed I'm unable to make the World Cup! Want to wish the boys the best of luck and have every confidence in the whole squad."
Currently there is no precise date for Root's return to action. Yorkshire's County Championship season starts on April 13 but that may yet prove too early for him.
Bell has played seven T20Is, the last against Australia in Melbourne more than three years ago, and was not part of the initial 30-man squad named for the World T20.
England have other, ongoing, injury concerns in the T20 squad with Stuart Broad ruled out of the final two matches against West Indies due to a knee problem and Eoin Morgan, who will deputise as captain, not at full fitness either.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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