India seeks ICC nod for Rishabh Pant as replacement.
Shikhar Dhawan was, on Wednesday, ruled out of the ongoing World Cup after failing to make enough recovery following a fresh assessment of his thumb fracture.
The 33-year-old India opener sustained the injury on his left thumb during the June 9 clash against Australia, in London, and was initially ruled out for three games -- the washed-out game against New Zealand last Thursday, last Sunday's marquee clash against Pakistan and the upcoming match against Afghanistan on Saturday.
"Shikhar Dhawan has fractured the base of the metacarpal (bone) of his left hand. His hand will remain in cast till mid July which rules him out of the ICC 2019 World Cup," the team's administrative manager Sunil Subramanium told media persons.
"We have written to the ICC requesting Rishabh Pant as replacement," he added.
Pant comes in with an accumulated ODI experience of five matches but is considered a trump card owing to his fearless approach. He was part of the official standbys list along with Ambati Rayudu.
Dhawan was always running against time to be fit for the match against England, scheduled for June 30 in Birmingham.
It is learnt that the swashbuckling opener, who played through pain to score a hundred against Australia, "had no chance" of recovering in time.
"Dhawan was never going to be fit in time. However, the team management was reluctant to name a replacement. It was never on same page with selectors who wanted to announce an official replacement right after his (Dhawan's) diagnosis," said a source privy to the developments.
Pant was brought in as cover for Dhawan after the team management decided to wait on the senior opener's recovery but assessment of the injury this week did not throw up encouraging results.
As a consequence, the 21-year-old Pant, whose omission from the original squad had kicked up a storm given his exceptional form in the past one year, has got the big break.
Pant's addition to the side was backed by the likes of the legendary Sunil Gavaskar. The former India captain felt that the Delhi-lad deserved to be in, if Dhawan was to be ruled out, given the youngster's "cracking hot form".
Pant scored impressive hundreds during the Test tours of England and Australia. He also enjoyed a good run in the IPL last month, aggregating 488 runs, with a strike rate of over 160.
What perhaps prompted the team management to finally make an announcement on Dhawan's injury was the fact that even Bhuvneshwar Kumar is injured.
India would have had only 13 players to select from for the Afghanistan game on June 22 if Pant was not brought in as a replacement.
Bhuvneshwar is out for three matches with a hamstring niggle.
"Bhuvneshwar is being assessed by team physio Patrick Farhart," the team's trainer, Shankar Basu, said.