Injuries plague Cup build-ups

Just a month out from the World Cup in the West Indies, Pakistan and New Zealand have both been hit hard by injuries to key bowlers.

Rao Iftikhar and Azhar Mahmood have joined the Pakistan squad during their tour of South Africa after three bowlers have been forced to return home – Shoaib Akhtar, Umar Gul and Shabbir Ahmed. The latter has been under an injury cloud for some time, with a groin strain, and it was decided today that he should return home.

Meanwhile New Zealand, who needed no further bad news after their loss to England and elimination from the Commonwealth Bank Series last night, today discovered that Kyle Mills faces up to six months away from the game after surgery on his damaged knee. Mills, who is able to bowl with the injury but is in considerable pain, may yet play in the World Cup with the injury but if he did he will have to miss much of next year’s home summer. It is perhaps more likely that the surgery will happen sooner rather than later.

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