Injured White out for 6 weeks, World Cup in doubt

Published: Saturday, December 28, 2002, 21:37 [IST]
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Melbourne: England's in-form all-rounder Craig White has a torn side muscle and is expected to be out of cricket for six weeks putting him in doubt for the World Cup.

White, strapped up and batting with painkillers, was England's top scorer with an unbeaten 85 in its first innings of 270, but not enough to avoid the follow on against the Australians in the fourth Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Saturday. The 33-year-old Yorkshire all-rounder afterwards revealed he had torn a side muscle while bowling in the Australian first innings on Thursday and would take around six weeks to recover.

He said as he couldn't bowl he was doubtful to play just as a batsman in next week's final Sydney Test. "I stiffened up during the day and bowled a fair few overs and just after tea I bowled a bouncer to Damien Martyn and felt a little burning sensation in the side... it got worse during the day," White said. "Obviously, I've got to speak to a few people about it, but the World Cup is my main aim and it will be touch and go to play in it. Normally this injury takes six to seven weeks to get right." White's setback is the latest injury to bedevil England's Australian tour.

White, who grew up in rural Victoria and played two Sheffield Shield matches for the state between 1990-94 before returning to Yorkshire, tore side muscles in the Test series against India in England. "It's not the exact same area, but it's thereabouts," he said. "I've bowled a few overs on this tour so it's just wear and tear and eventually it's just had enough." He has been one of the England's better performers on its ill-fated Australian tour, taking a total of 14 wickets, including 5-127 in the third Perth Test.

White, who used to come to watch Test matches at the MCG as a youngster, said it had been an ambition to play in a Boxing Day Test before a huge crowd. "I saw Tests here, I was barracking for England and wore my English T-shirt," he said proudly. White has been back in England for 13 years and said it was great to play against Australia. "It's great to play against a fantastic team like the Aussies, you learn so much from watching them play."

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