Australia’s limited-overs tour of England has been thrown off-balance before it begins with the withdrawal of Josh Hazlewood due to a bone stress injury in his back on the very day the squad was due to fly out.
Hazlewood joins Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc in being out of action due to bone-stress-related issues, with Cummins recovering from swelling in the vertebrae and Starc still out of action due to a bone stress reaction in his right leg. Michael Neser, the Queensland seam bowler, has been drafted into the touring squad.
Hazlewood’s back injury means Australia’s Ashes-winning pace trio have been ruled out of their limited-overs tour to England ESPNcricinfo Ltd
“Josh has been managing some low-level bone stress in his lumbar spine for a short period,” the team physio David Beakley said. “He had a repeat scan today and although it has not progressed to a fracture he is starting to experience some lower-back pain. As such, we are taking a conservative approach and he will not travel to England for the one-day series.”
Hazlewood bowled in Brisbane on Sunday and was taken for the extra scan after complaining of soreness. Medical staff and Hazlewood are believed to have discussed the situation with the new coach Justin Langer and finalised the decision to withdraw him from the squad late afternoon, a matter of hours before the players and support staff were due to travel to the airport to commence their journey to London.
The loss of Hazlewood means the captain Tim Paine and the new coach Justin Langer have a severely depleted bowling attack to choose from, with Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Billy Stanlake and Andrew Tye joined by Neser. Nathan Lyon and Ashton Agar are the spin bowlers in the squad.