England suffer Ajmal Shahzad injury blow

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The Independent Online

England's depleted bowling attack has been handed a further blow after Ajmal Shahzad was ruled out of the remainder of the one-day international series against Australia with a hamstring injury.

Scans today revealed that Shahzad had sustained a minor hamstring tear and while he will not play in the final two games of the already-lost series, he will remain with the squad in Australia to begin his rehabilitation ahead of the World Cup.

Fellow quick Chris Tremlett will also miss tomorrow's sixth one-dayer in Sydney due to a side strain, although he will be reassessed in the coming days after scans revealed he had not sustained a tear.

Shahzad pulled up lame while bowling during England's 51-run defeat in Brisbane on Sunday, which saw Australia take an unassailable 4-1 lead in the seven-game series.

The Yorkshireman left the field immediately after completing his eighth over and was forced to bat with a runner in England's unsuccessful chase.

He is, however, expected to be fit in time for England's opening game of the World Cup against Holland in Nagpur on February 22.

"Shahzad has suffered the type of minor hamstring tear that required at least eight days of rest, and as such he will be rested," an England & Wales Cricket Board spokeswoman said.

"He will remain with the England squad in Australia where he will be in the best place to begin his rehabilitation from the injury.

"The England team are remaining cautious with Tremlett (who is not a part of the World Cup squad) despite the scans showing no sign of a tear.

"The specialists will take another look at him in the coming days and make a further assessment before the final game of the series in Perth on Sunday."

Shahzad's injury does, however, mean that four of the bowlers England selected for the World Cup are currently sidelined by injury.

Spinner Graeme Swann (back/knee) and Tim Bresnan (calf) were forced to leave the tour early last week, while Stuart Broad is still recovering from the stomach injury he suffered during the Ashes.

All four are expected to be fit in time for the start of the World Cup though, with Broad revealing yesterday that he was ahead of schedule in his return.

Broad is hoping to make his return after two months out of action for England's first warm-up match against Canada on February 16.

The 24-year-old bowled at close to his full run at the SCG nets today after revealing he hoped to come off his complete mark before the final game at the WACA Ground.