Hayden down with broken toe

Aside from the worries posed by the players on the field, Australia have further concerns heading into the World Cup. Namely the availability of opening batsman Matthew Hayden, who suffered a fractured toe while scoring a record 181 not out against New Zealand in the recently completed third Chappell-Hadlee one-day international.

Hayden’s score is the highest in ODI cricket by an Australian, and led Australia to 346-5, albeit in a losing cause. Over the course of this valiant innings, Hayden smashed a ball from Mark Gillespie into his toe. Alex Kountouris, the Australian physiotherapist, said that Hayden will see a specialist in Brisbane tomorrow to decide his immediate playing fate. He revealed that an X-ray has confirmed a fracture of the big toe of his right foot.

With Brett Lee already a doubt for the World Cup, and Andrew Symonds and Michael Clarke nursing injuries ahead of the tournament, the Australians will be severely tested as they look to defend their title. Australia has now lost 5 consecutive ODIs and 6 of the last 7.

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