Sports, Cricket

Hazlewood declared fit for WTC final

Published : 22 May 2023 10:18 PM

Josh Hazlewood, who had returned home from IPL 2023 complaining of side soreness, has been cleared of any damage and declared available for selection for the World Test Championship finale against India and the Ashes that follows.

Since the scans did not reveal any particular damage, after a "precautionary period of rest", Hazlewood has since returned to bowling ahead of the Australian team's departure to the UK.

"Josh Hazlewood returned home from the IPL last weekend after experiencing minor side soreness after the completion of his most recent IPL match," a CA spokesperson said.

"After a brief and precautionary rest period, Hazlewood returned to high intensity bowling last week and will continue to increase his bowling workloads in preparation for the WTC and Ashes series. Hazlewood is considered fit and available for the WTC and Ashes Series."

RCB's INR 7.75 Crore recruit missed the first few games of the season as he was recovering from an Achilles tendinitis - an injury that he picked up during the SCG Test against South Africa earlier this year. That injury meant Hazlewood missed the first couple of Tests during the tour of India and aimed to ramp up his recovery to be part of the second half of that crucial series. But that was not to be and he didn't play a game on tour.

Hazlewood then missed the initial fixtures for RCB this season before joining up with the squad. Even after joining the squad, he was still some way away from making full recovery to feature for the team. He trained ahead of games towards the end of April before playing his first game of the season against Lucknow Super Giants on May 1. He played two more away games - against Delhi Capitals and Mumbai Indians on May 6 and May 9 respectively but didn't feature since.

RCB team director Mike Hesson had then officially ruled him out of the team's final league game, a must-win home clash against holders and table toppers Gujarat Titans.

Australia have named a 17-player squad for the UK which will be pruned to 15 names for the WTC final - starting June 7 - by the team's scheduled departure on May 28. The finale will be followed by a five-match Ashes series.