Melbourne, Feb 8 (PTI) Australia were today dealt asevere blow ahead of their World Cup title defence afterbatting mainstay Michael Hussey and spinner Nathan Hauritzwere ruled out of the mega-event due to injuries.
Both Hussey and Hauritz suffered injuries during the justconcluded ODI series against England and had undergonesurgeries.
While Hussey had suffered a hamstring tendon rupture,Hauritz dislocated his right shoulder.
Cricket Australia has written to the InternationalCricket Council (ICC) to replace Hussey with Callum Fergusonand Hauritz with Jason Krejza.
"The National Selection Panel has received a fullbriefing from CA medical staff. Based on the medical advice anapplication is being made to the ICC to replace both playersin the World Cup squad," Andrew Hilditch, chairman of theNational Selection Panel, said.
"We''ve applied to the ICC Technical Committee for CallumFerguson to replace Mike Hussey in the squad. Callum has anexcellent record in One-day international cricket and playedwell in the One-day game against England in Sydney recently.
"We''ve also applied to the ICC Technical Committee forJason Krejza to replace Nathan Hauritz in the squad. Jasontoured India with the Australian Test team in 2008 andunderstands those conditions," Hilditch said.
Australian team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris gave anupdate on the injuries of other members of the World Cup-boundsquad.
"Ricky Ponting is going well in his rehabilitationfollowing his finger fracture. He is batting regularly and isexpected to make a transition into unrestricted training soonafter the team arrives in India.
"Brad Haddin was struck on the knee whilst batting duringthe seventh ODI against England. During the batting inningsthe knee became swollen. We expect this to resolve soon afterwe arrive in India," Kountouris said.
"Steve Smith is making very good progress from the groininjury he sustained in the sixth ODI against England," headded.