West Indies have been dealt with a major blow midway through their World Cup quest, as all-rounder Andre Russell has been ruled out of the tournament owing to his persisting knee injury.
Having taken five-wickets in four games for his team, the 31-year-old was always going to be extremely vulnerable in terms of injury given that he came on the back of a hectic India T20 League schedule. He has posted a total of 36 runs in defeats to Australia, England and Bangladesh and was clearly hobbled by the injury before missing Saturday's agonising five-run loss to New Zealand.
In turn, batsman Sunil Ambris will take the place of Russell, who has failed to replicate his stunning Indian T20 League form during the World Cup in England and Wales. Russell was crowned player of the tournament in this season's Indian T20 League and got off to a flyer at the World Cup by taking 2-4 with the ball in a thumping seven-wicket win over Pakistan.
"The International Cricket Council has confirmed that the Event Technical Committee of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 has approved Sunil Ambris as a replacement player for Andre Russell in the West Indies squad for the remainder of the tournament," the ICC said in a statement.
Amris, who averages 105.33 from his six ODIs, will join his teammates ahead of West Indies’ match against India at Old Trafford on June 27.
After just one victory in their opening six games, the West Indies need to win all of their remaining three group matches against India, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan to have any chance of progressing to the semi-finals.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Oli Scarff