WC 2003 - Injured Martyn faces final heartache

Published: Tuesday, March 18, 2003, 19:57 [IST]
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Port Elizabeth: Australia's plans for Tuesday's World Cup semi-final clash against Sri Lanka suffered a setback when batsman Damien Martyn was ruled out because of a broken finger. The 31-year-old Martyn suffered the injury in his right index finger while fielding in the five-wicket win against Kenya on Saturday in Durban and could be doubtful for the final if Australia makes it.Martyn, one of just four players to have figured in all of his team's nine matches so far, needed an X-ray on his finger after Saturday's game in which he didn't bat."He's out of Tuesday's match and thereafter we will have to see how it is," said Aussie coach John Buchanan after Monday's practice."In all likelihood we will go with a form batsman to replace him, but we'll have a look at the conditions in the morning and finalise the team then."Australian physiotherapist Errol Alcott said it is hard to speculate on Martyn's availability for Sunday's final in Johannesburg, should the side defeat Sri Lanka on Tuesday."The main symptoms of this fracture are limitation of movement, pain and swelling," Alcott said."We will be waiting to see whether those three problem areas subside, before making any further decisions about Damien's short-term future."Until that time it will just be a case of reviewing the finger daily and treating it accordingly," Alcott said.Martyn said he was terribly disappointed to miss the semi-final."Naturally Im disappointed, but the finger is pretty sore at the moment and theres not much movement there, so its probably a wise move that I sit this one out," he said."Should we get through the match, I will be doing my utmost to get it right ahead of Sundays final in Johannesburg."That will involve ongoing work with Errol Alcott over the next few days."Australia has already lost leg spinner Shane Warne (drugs test) and fast bowler Jason Gillespie (heel injury) from its World Cup squad, but Sri Lankan coach Dav Whatmore didn't think the absence of Martyn would make that much difference."He's a steady player and a good fielder, but there've been other changes to their squad without making any difference," said Whatmore.Martyn's injury means a recall for Michael Bevan, who missed the five-wicket win over Kenya with a back strain.It also looks like solving a tricky selection headache for skipper Ricky Ponting who was facing having to drop either Andrew Symonds or Ian Harvey to accommodate Bevan.Martyn has scored 235 runs for his side during the tournament at an average of 47.0 with a best of 67 not out against the Netherlands in the first round. Copyright AFP 2001


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