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News

Maxwell to miss England match after suffering concussion in golf accident

The allrounder fell off the back of a golf cart after a round on Monday and will be sidelined for at least six days

Glenn Maxwell has been ruled out of the ODI World Cup match against England in Ahmedabad after suffering concussion in a golf-related incident on Monday.
Maxwell was holding onto the back of a golf cart on the way back from the clubhouse at Kalhaar Blues and Greens Golf Club, outside Ahmedabad, to the team bus in the early evening during one of scheduled days off when he lost his grip. It's understood it was a short journey of around 300 metres and there were not enough carts available for everyone to be seated. He is expected to be under concussion protocols for six to eight days.
"He's been honest with the information he's provided," Andrew McDonald, Australia's coach, said. "He's doing fine. He'll start some light exercises today and we feel as though it will be a reasonably straightforward return-to-play protocol. I suppose the fortunate part was there was no other injury sustained which could have been a lot worse that it currently is.
"I think it rattled everyone to be fair once it came to the conclusion there was a concussion and he was going to miss a game. There was nothing untoward in the behaviour throughout the day: it was a clear-cut accident and unfortunately it's compromised what we are doing as a team."
Last year Maxwell suffered a badly broken leg when he slipped at a friend's birthday party and it ruled him out of action for nearly five months. "The last 12 months, Glenn's been up and down in terms of his recovery and it was a horrific injury that took place, but he's been really good since he got here," McDonald said.
The latest setback means Australia will need to replace one of their key middle-order players for the game against England with either Marcus Stoinis or Cameron Green likely to come in and Marnus Labuschagne now favoured to retain his place in the XI.
Earlier in the tournament, Maxwell hammered a record 40-ball century against Netherlands and has also been a vital second spinner alongside Adam Zampa, bowling 42.3 overs across six matches with an economy rate of just 4.82. Travis Head, who returned from injury against New Zealand, will now take on a supporting role with the ball.
"They'll be a small reshuffle, clearly, around the back end of our batting and no doubt that compromises a bit of our bowling and the way Glenn has performed with the ball," McDonald said. "There's no doubt it leaves us a fraction exposed at the back end in terms of how Glenn's been performing but Marcus Stoinis does become available, all things going well at training today."
The entire squad had been given two full days off after their victory against New Zealand in Dharamshala with players free to use that time how they wished. While some stayed in the Himalayas and arrived in Ahmedabad on Wednesday, a number of the players and support staff played in an internal golfing tournament.
Maxwell is the latest player to fall victim to a freak golfing injury. Last year, Jonny Bairstow missed the entire England winter following a horrific broken leg, and Josh Inglis was ruled out of the 2022 T20 World Cup when he suffered a badly cut hand when a club snapped.
However, McDonald stressed his belief that golf should not be banned as it was important to allow players to get away from cricket. "It was a fantastic couple of days," he said. "We feel as though that's important when we're on the road for extended periods of time… it's an unfortunate accident."
McDonald hinted that Labuschagne is likely to retain his spot in Australia's XI as a result of the injury, and could even play a role with the ball: "He will be able to do some spinning duties and he's been working on his offspin along with his legspin… we feel as though we've got enough options to take the pace out of the game, should the surface require that."
Along with David Warner, Labuschagne is one of two players to have featured in all 14 of Australia's ODIs since the start of September - despite having been omitted from their initial World Cup squad in August owing to a lean run in the format. At the World Cup, he has scored 201 runs at 33.50, striking at 77.30, and has found himself batting at Nos. 4, 5 and 7.
"I know if I'm picked, I'm the right person for that role in the middle order," Labuschagne said on Wednesday. "I feel like the situations that I've come across, I've navigated well. Getting 40 of 60 against Sri Lanka, you take that in isolation without the situation of the game and you're like, 'oh, that's really slow.'
"But that was just what we needed to make sure we got ourselves into a good position, and then obviously we got the net run-rate [boost] as well… I feel like I'm batting well. In one-day cricket, especially in the middle order, you're not going to be able to score runs every time."
Australia lost their first two matches at the World Cup but are well placed to secure a semi-final berth after a run of four consecutive victories. After the England game, they face Afghanistan and Bangladesh to round out the group stage.
Labuschagne believes conditions at the World Cup had brought teams closer together, but when asked about England's struggles, said: "It's obviously a shock when a team like that is [played] six and [won] one... But one thing that does mean is they're dangerous. If there's ever a team that's dangerous when they're down and out, it's England. Let's not get sucked into how they're performing. They're a good team, they're good individual players, and we need to be at our best."

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo; Matt Roller is an assistant editor