Faulkner To Miss 2015 World Cup Opener

Australian team physiotherapist Alex Kountoruis has confirmed that all-rounder James Faulkner will miss Australia’s opening 2015 World Cup clash against England on Friday February 13.

Faulkner suffered an abdominal injury during Australia’s comfortable Carlton Mid ODI Tri-Series victory over England in Perth last Sunday and he underwent scans in Melbourne yesterday to assess the seriousness of the injury.

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Kountouris told Cricket Australia that the scans showed Faulkner had suffered from a moderate level abdominal muscle strain and he confirmed that he would definitely miss the 2015 Cricket World Cup opener and could be ruled out of Australia’s second game with Bangladesh at the Gabba on February 21.

“Scans on James Faulkner’s injured side have confirmed a moderate grade abdominal muscle strain, which is consistent with a typical fast-bowling side strain injury,” Kountouris said.

“He will receive intensive treatment for the next two weeks before we can determine when he can return to batting and bowling.

“He will travel with Australia’s ICC Cricket World Cup squad to Adelaide on Friday to continue his treatment with team medical staff.”

The Australian Cricket Selection Panel revealed last month that captain Michael Clarke would be ruled out of the 2015 World Cup squad if he was unable to take his place in the side for the second game of their World Cup campaign against Bangladesh, but the same does not apply to Faulkner and he will likely remain in the squad for Australia’s future pool clashes with New Zealand, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Scotland.

Faulkner has developed into a key member of the Australian ODI squad and currently averages just under 50 with the bat and has a strike rate well in excess of 100, while he has also been a consistent performer with the ball and has taken 50 wickets from his 38 ODI matches at an average of just over 30.

The Tasmanian has been dubbed the ‘New Bevan’ by teammates due to his ability to see Australia home in tense run chases – just as legendary ODI batsman Michael Bevan did for the side in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Australia is currently available at 2015 World Cup odds of $2.75 and they remain clear favourite from South Africa ($4.25), New Zealand ($6), India ($9), Sri Lanka ($12), Pakistan ($13) and West Indies ($21).

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