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Injury forces Gillespie out of World Cup
March 05, 2003 17:12 IST
Australia suffered their second major World Cup blow on Wednesday when fast bowler Jason Gillespie announced his withdrawal from the tournament because of injury. Gillespie had a scan on his right heel on Tuesday after missing the world champions' last two Group A games.
"I'm shattered and disappointed but these things happen," he told reporters.
"It's very disappointing it's happened to me but I'll be ok. I'm lucky it's not too serious, that's a positive."
Gillespie has strained the tendon that runs alongside the Achilles tendon.
"It's a load-bearing part of my body, especially being a fast bowler it takes a lot of weight," he said. "But on a positive note I'm relieved it's not my Achilles. That could have been a lot more dangerous.
"Injuries are just part and parcel of being a fast bowler. I've had my fair share."
It is Gillespie's second World Cup disappointment after he was forced to miss the 1999 tournament in England when Australia lifted the trophy.
A key member of the team's pace attack, he underwent the scan when the injury failed to respond to treatment.
Australia, unbeaten in the opening phase of the tournament, play Sri Lanka on Friday in the first Super Six match.
Leg spinner Shane Warne withdrew from the Australia squad before bowling a ball in South Africa after it was announced he had failed a drugs test for diuretics. He has since been banned for 12 months.
Gillespie's injury was initially considered minor but when he tried to bowl before the England game on Sunday in Port Elizabeth it flared up again.
He first felt discomfort last Wednesday before the Group A match against Namibia.
The 27-year-old right-arm fast bowler took eight World Cup wickets at an average of 12.25, including a hugely impressive 10-over spell of three for 13 against India. Generating good pace from a short run-up, Gillespie can move the ball both ways off the seam.
His misfortune is likely to pave the way for Andy Bichel to claim a regular place in the starting line-up. In Gillespie's absence, Bichel took seven for 20, the second best figures in World Cup history, against England on Sunday.
Gillespie's career has been repeatedly stalled by injuries, most spectacularly when he collided with Steve Waugh while fielding in 1999 and breaking his leg.
He will fly home to Australia later on Wednesday and said he hoped to be back bowling in about four weeks.
"I'd like to think I'll be able to out myself in front of the selectors for the West Indies tour," he said.
Nathan Bracken, Brad Williams and Ashley Noffke are among possible replacements for Gillespie in Australia's World Cup squad.
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