West Indies allrounder Andre Russell has been sidelined from the remainder of the World Cup with a knee injury. Top-order batsman Sunil Ambris, who hit a career-best 148 in the tri-series in Ireland last month, has been approved by the ICC as Russell’s replacement.
Russell has had a history of knee issues, and was seen limping heavily during his 2 for 4 against Pakistan in what was only his second ODI since the 2015 World Cup. Although he returned for the game against Australia, his knees didn’t make it through his second spell. He bowled only two overs against England and then six overs against Bangladesh. His wonky knees then ruled him out of the game against New Zealand in Manchester, where Carlos Brathwaite replaced him and nearly powered West Indies home with a stunning century.
Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo were among like-for-like replacements for Russell in West Indies’ reserves, but they have opted for a possible opener in Ambris, who was the second-highest scorer in the tri-series against Bangladesh and Ireland, with 278 runs in four innings at an average of 92.66 and strike rate of 101.83.
Ambris could cover for Evin Lewis, who had hurt his hamstring in the field in the first over of the match against New Zealand and consequently limped off the field. He returned to bat at No. 8 and bagged a three-ball duck.
West Indies have won just one of their six matches, meaning they are unlikely to qualify for the semi-finals. They next face one of the tournament favourites, India, at Old Trafford on June 27.
West Indies’ updated squad: Jason Holder (capt), Fabian Allen, Darren Bravo, Carlos Brathwaite, Sheldon Cottrell, Shannon Gabriel, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope (wk), Evin Lewis, Ashley Nurse, Nicholas Pooran, Kemar Roach, Sunil Ambris, Oshane Thomas