Hazlewood targets World Cup return after being ruled out of Pakistan and India clashes

Waseem Ahmed 19:45 14/02/2019
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Hazlewood will miss the ODI series against Pakistan in the UAE.

Australia pacer Josh Hazlewood remains hopeful of playing in the 2019 ICC World Cup in England as he continues to remain sidelined with a back injury.

Hazlewood had sustained a stress fracture in his lower back while bowling for Australia in the fourth and final Test against India at Melbourne earlier this year and is due to undergo a follow-up scan on Friday.

The bowler had already been sidelined for six months last year for a similar injury in the same area. The Aussie remains unsure of his return to the cricket field but is optimistic about his chances of being fit in time for the World Cup and subsequent Ashes series.

“I think we’ll know a lot more after tomorrow, to be honest. Hopefully in the coming weeks we’ll start working through it,” he told cricket.com.au.

“Hopefully it’s going along to plan. Everything feels fine so training’s coming along nicely, progressing every week. I think we’ll just work back from the World Cup really and make sure everything’s right for that, which gives me plenty of time.”

Hazlewood will undergo a follow-up scan on Friday.

Hazlewood will undergo a follow-up scan on Friday.

The 28-year-old had already been ruled out of Australia’s upcoming limited-overs tour of India and will now also miss the five-match ODI series against Pakistan in the UAE to be held towards the end of March.

The five-time World Cup winners will play three practise games against New Zealand before heading to England for the World Cup and Hazlewood is targeting a return in those clashes.

“I haven’t played too much ODI cricket in the last 12 to 18 months which is a bit frustrating, a bit of a shame,” said Hazlewood.

“We’ve got three games in Brisbane in May against New Zealand and then three in England once we get over there.

“That’s quite enough to be ready I think, so I’ll be happy with where I’m at.”

Australia open their 2019 World Cup campaign with a clash against Afghanistan at Bristol on June 1.

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