Starc ruled out of first couple of ODIs vs Sri Lanka; could miss the entire white-ball series: Report

Australian pace bowler Mitchell Starc has been ruled out of the first couple of One-day Internationals against Sri Lanka beginning on June 14, and could possibly miss the entire white-ball series because of a freak injury he suffered in the opening T20I at Colombo on June 7.

While there were doubts over the left-arm seamer’s inclusion in the ODI series after he suffered a deep gash in his bowling finger by accidentally rubbing it on his shoe spikes, and subsequently required six stitches, a news in cricket.com.au late on Thursday said that he will not take part in at least a couple of ODIs, and possibly miss the entire white-ball series.

Starc, though, will be available for the two-Test series at Galle from June 29. As a backup, Cricket Australia had already drafted pace bowler Jhye Richardson in their ODI squad.

The report added that Nathan McAndrew will join the Australia A squad as cover for Richardson, who has “been promoted to the ODI group having originally earned selection only for the T20 leg of the all-format tour”.

“(He) will continue to train with the squad in Sri Lanka and potentially return during the ODI series (at the backend of the series). His recovery time is unspecified but anticipated to be a minimum of seven days,” CA said in a statement.

“It was a strange one,” teammate Josh Hazlewood told cricket.com.au of Starc’s injury. “Once his left leg came back through, he clipped it on the spike, so he’s got a little cut on his bowling finger.”

“It was a crazy thing to come back out (with a heavily-taped finger in the opening T20I) and finish his spell and take three wickets as well,” added David Warner.

This is the second finger injury to an Australian pace bowler in the series, with Sean Abbott returning home after fracturing a digit after being struck by a net bowler during practice.

Starc is on the threshold of breaking former Pakistani spinner Saqlain Mushtaq’s record as the fastest bowler to 200 ODI wickets. The Australian is on 195 wickets from 99 games.

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