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No gain, McGain set to return home with pain

cricket Updated: Oct 03, 2008 23:07 IST
Anand Vasu
Anand Vasu
Hindustan Times
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Bryce McGain came to India hoping for a fairytale debut, but for the 26-year-old Victorian legspinner, the tour ended before it even began and he will be hoping his career does not suffer the same fate. McGain, who was earlier ruled out of the practice match in Hyderabad owing to a sore shoulder, will fly home in the next couple of days, it was announced.

When McGain’s injury meant no bowling of any kind for the next two to three weeks it was only a matter of time before the decision to send him home was made.

Alex Kountouris, Australia’s physio, completed an examination and advised his team to send the leggie home, it dealt a further blow to Australia’s already beleaguered spin department.

On Thursday night, some hours after he was clinically taken apart by the BP XI batsmen, Jason Krejza was in the eye of an unwanted controversy when a story broke of how the 25-year-old offie had tested positive for recreational drug cocaine in 2006.

Someone had allegedly spiked a drink Krejza consumed and the two subsequent tests showed he was in the clear, but had to be withdrawn from a second XI match. Krejza had immediately initiated proceedings with his state side and Cricket Australia now say that the earlier incident will have no impact on his selection for matches on this tour.

That said, the BP XI batsmen certainly made a case for Australia to play four fast bowlers and turn to part-timers Simon Katich and Michael Clarke for a bit of spin.

Friday’s announcement that McGain will head home leaves Australia’s selectors in a tough spot, and though they have not named a replacement as yet, it is widely expected that Beau Casson, the chinaman bowler, will be flown to India at some point.

Kountouris said that the team was left with no option but to send McGain home once it became clear that it would be a while before he could bowl again.

“Bryce’s injury was sustained in September, and despite his workload being managed throughout the early stages of this tour, he suffered a setback at training on Tuesday in an attempt to be available for the four-day match currently under way,” said Kountouris.

“As a result, it has been decided that Bryce will not be available for selection for the majority of the tour.” anand.