Shikhar Dhawan has been ruled out of the ICC World Cup following a final confirmation that the fracture in his left thumb will need more time to heal. Subsequently, the BCCI sought permission from the ICC to name Rishabh Pant as the replacement and the request was approved.
The Indian team manager Sunil Subramaniam, who addressed the media at the Hampshire Bowl here on Wednesday, said: “Shikhar has a fracture on the base of his first metacarpal (near the thumb) on his left hand. Following several specialist opinions, he will remain in a cast till mid-July which rules him out of the ICC World Cup. We have written to the ICC and requested for Rishabh Pant as the replacement.”
Dhawan was struck on his hand by a delivery from Pat Cummins during the course of his 117 against Australia at the Oval on June 9. The southpaw, however, continued batting till he was dismissed in the 37th over. The team-management, on learning about the opener’s injury, stated that a decision would be taken after 10 to 12 days as it needed a fair time-frame to judge Dhawan’s state of recovery.
As a contingency measure, Pant was asked to join the team as stand-by and get acclimatised to the conditions in England. Interestingly, in all its communication specific to Dhawan’s injury back then, the BCCI did not mention the word ‘fracture’. Now with Dhawan being deemed unavailable, India will continue to stick with Rohit Sharma and K.L. Rahul as its opening pair. The duo added 136 runs during last Sunday’s clash against Pakistan at Old Trafford.
Meanwhile, Dhawan limbered up with the rest of the squad here in a morning training session. He bantered with his teammates, kept an eye on Jasprit Bumrah’s solo effort in the adjoining nets and warmly greeted a senior scribe and strode away with a laconic smile. Pant, the opener’s replacement, did his practice stints too.
Dhawan posted a video-message and a note on Twitter which stated: “I feel emotional to announce that I will no longer be a part of CWC19. Unfortunately, the thumb won’t recover on time. But the show must go on. I am grateful for all the love and support from my team mates, cricket lovers and our entire nation. Jai Hind!”