Melbourne, Feb 8, (PTI): Australia were today dealt a severe blow ahead of their World Cup title defence after batting mainstay Michael Hussey and spinner Nathan Hauritz were ruled out of the mega-event due to injuries.
Both Hussey and Hauritz suffered injuries during the just concluded ODI series against England and had undergone surgeries.
While Hussey had suffered a hamstring tendon rupture, Hauritz dislocated his right shoulder. Cricket Australia has written to the International Cricket Council (ICC) to replace Hussey with Callum Ferguson and Hauritz with Jason Krejza.
"The National Selection Panel has received a full briefing from CA medical staff. Based on the medical advice an application is being made to the ICC to replace both players in the World Cup squad," Andrew Hilditch, chairman of the National Selection Panel, said.
"We've applied to the ICC Technical Committee for Callum Ferguson to replace Mike Hussey in the squad. Callum has an excellent record in One-day international cricket and played well in the One-day game against England in Sydney recently.
"We've also applied to the ICC Technical Committee for Jason Krejza to replace Nathan Hauritz in the squad. Jason toured India with the Australian Test team in 2008 and understands those conditions," Hilditch said.
Australian team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris gave an update on the injuries of other members of the World Cup-bound squad.
"Ricky Ponting is going well in his rehabilitation following his finger fracture. He is batting regularly and is expected to make a transition into unrestricted training soon after the team arrives in India.
"Brad Haddin was struck on the knee whilst batting during the seventh ODI against England. During the batting innings the knee became swollen. We expect this to resolve soon after we arrive in India," Kountouris said.
"Steve Smith is making very good progress from the groin injury he sustained in the sixth ODI against England," he added.