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Timbawala replaces injured Santhanam in USA squad

Ravi Timbawala goes to high five a team-mate after walking off unbeaten on 73, Peter Della Penna

Batsman Ravi Timbawala has been confirmed as a replacement for allrounder Srini Santhanam in USA's squad for ICC WCL Division Four beginning October 29. Santhanam was injured during the Auty Cup last weekend against Canada, suffering a recurrence of the right shoulder injury that has plagued him for the last three years.

Santhanam, 32, initially injured his shoulder last month at USA's five-day national camp in Indianapolis but was declared fit and picked in USA's squad for both the Auty Cup and WCL Division Four. He consistently troubled Canada's batsmen during a six-over spell in the opening match of the Auty Cup but after completing his sixth over, he injured his right shoulder making a throw in from the boundary and had to leave the field for the remainder of the innings. Santhanam sat out of USA's last two games in the series and the initial prognosis from the team physio in Los Angeles on the final day of the series was that he would not recover in time for the start of Division Four.

"It's disappointing news for Srini," USA coach Pubudu Dassanayake said at the announcement of the change. "He was bowling very well in that first match before his injury, we wish him all the best with his recovery. Ravi showed during the Auty Cup that he has the ability and determination to win games for his country. He will be a valuable addition to the group for World Cricket League."

The 27-year-old Timbawala was a surprise omission from the original squad for Division Four after finishing second in runs at USA's intrasquad national camp in Florida at the beginning of August. He is based in Los Angeles and plays club cricket for Vijayta CC at Woodley Park, the site of Division Four.

Timbawala was called into USA's squad for the Auty Cup after Timroy Allen withdrew to attend to a personal matter. After sitting out the first two matches in the three-match series, he started the final game in place of Santhanam and scored an unbeaten 73 to anchor USA's chase in a two-wicket win.