India’s Shikhar Dhawan ruled out of the World Cup

India opener Shikhar Dhawan has been ruled out of the rest of the World Cup with a fractured finger, the Board of Control for Cricket in India announced Wednesday.

The in-form batsman suffered the break while facing Australia’s Pat Cummins in India’s second match of the tournament at the Oval on June 9.

Dhawan carried on batting and scored a century to earn the man-of-the- match award as India beat the reigning champions by 36 runs.

But the 33-year-old left-hander did not field and has not featured in the World Cup since his century at Surrey’s headquarters in south London.

Rishabh Pant, a dynamic batsman and wicketkeeper, is set to replace Dhawan in India’s squad ahead of their match against Afghanistan at Southampton on Saturday.

“Shikhar has a fracture at the base of his first metacarpal on his left hand,” team manager Sunil Subramanian told reporters in Southampton.

“Following several specialist opinions, he will remain in a cast until mid-July, which rules him out of the ICC World Cup 2019.”

India, who will still require the formal approval of the World Cup event technical committee before calling up the 21-year-old Pant into their tournament squad, summoned the dynamic left-hander last week as concerns mounted over Dhawan’s fitness.

“He (Pant) bats in the middle order and obviously being a left-hander helps and he was named in the standbys as well, so the team management has gone and picked him,” said India assistant coach Sanjay Bangar last week.

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