England's World Cup hopes suffered a severe setback on Tuesday when their leading one-day batsman Eoin Morgan was ruled out of the tournament with a broken finger that requires surgery.
England coach Andy Flower said Morgan suffered the injury in the fourth match of the seven-match one-day series in Australia and, although he played in the next two games, subsequent medical examination revealed a cracked bone.
Morgan, a former Irish international, is an aggressive, inventive batsmen and will be badly missed by England's one-day side, who have just been beaten 6-1 by Australia in the one-day series that followed their victory in the Ashes Test series.
He will be replaced by Ravi Bopara in the squad for the February 19-April 2 tournament in India.
"Eoin Morgan won't be going to the World Cup, he needs an operation so that's a serious loss," Flower told a news conference at Heathrow airport after the team's arrival from Australia.
"He injured it in that Adelaide game and didn't think it was serious at all but it got worse the more he played and practiced. The pain grew worse and under investigation a crack was found."
"But Ravi Bopara, who is an exciting young cricketer in his own right, will be joining us."
Graeme Swann, Tim Bresnan, Ajmal Shahzad, Paul Collingwood, Stuart Broad and Chris Tremlett all picked up injuries during the Test and one-day tour but Flower said there was "good news regarding the majority of them".
Captain Andrew Strauss said the injuries could be a blessing in disguise.
"Some of our players have had a rest due to being injured and are ready to come back into the fold," he said when asked if England had been jaded during the one-day series.
"We have a few days now and the atmosphere of the World Cup will be very intoxicating and motivating."
England play a warm-up game against Canada in Dhaka on February 16 with their first World Cup match on February 22 against Netherlands in Nagpur.