Brandon King suffers side strain, doubtful for rest of T20 World Cup

Gros Islet (St Lucia), June 20 (IANS) In a significant blow to the West Indies’ T20 World Cup campaign, star batsman Brandon King is a major doubt for the remainder of the tournament after sustaining a side strain during their match against England in St Lucia on Wednesday night.

The injury occurred as King was attempting a powerful cover drive off Sam Curran, forcing him to retire hurt and leaving the field prematurely.

King had been instrumental in giving the West Indies a flying start, racing to 23 off just 12 balls, including a massive 101-meter six off Reece Topley that required a replacement ball. However, his aggressive innings came to an abrupt halt when he crumpled over in pain on his 13th delivery. After receiving immediate medical attention, King was unable to continue and was subsequently diagnosed with a side strain.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) confirmed the injury and announced that King would not return to the field during England’s run chase. “Brandon King has suffered a side strain and will not return to the field of play in this evening’s match,” CWI stated.

With side strains typically taking several weeks to heal, King’s participation in the remaining World Cup matches is highly doubtful, especially with only 10 days left in the tournament.

The injury is a significant setback for the West Indies, who have relied on King’s experience and skill, particularly in light of his recent captaincy stint against South Africa while Rovman Powell was engaged in the IPL. Although King has not been in his best form during the tournament, with a top score of 34, his presence as a senior player is invaluable to the team’s dynamics.

In King’s absence, the West Indies face the challenging task of finding a suitable replacement from their standby players. The squad includes Andre Fletcher, Kyle Mayers, Fabian Allen, Hayden Walsh Jr., and Matthew Forde. Kyle Mayers, who was considered unlucky to miss the initial squad selection, is the most likely candidate to step in, given his versatility and strong form. Another option is Andre Fletcher, known for his capabilities as a top-order batter.

As the West Indies prepare for their second Super Eight fixture against the USA at Kensington Oval on Friday, the team will be looking to regroup and adjust their strategy. The match in Barbados comes at a critical juncture, and the absence of King will test the squad’s depth and resilience.

West Indies’ head coach Phil Simmons emphasized the team’s need to adapt quickly. “Losing Brandon is a blow, but we have a strong squad with capable players ready to step up. We’ll be evaluating our options and making the necessary adjustments ahead of our next match,” Simmons remarked.

–IANS

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