Hauritz's World Cup in doubt after he dislocates shoulder

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The Independent Online

Nathan Hauritz is doubtful for next month's World Cup after an injury sustained in yesterday's one-day international.

The off-spinner dislocated his shoulder in the field during Australia's 46-run defeat of England, and he joins Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey as possible absentees.

Stand-in captain Michael Clarke does not anticipate Hauritz's involvement in any of the remaining five matches against England. "Haury has a dislocation and he'll have scans tomorrow to see how bad that is," he said. "I think more than likely he's going to struggle to take any more part in this series."

Hauritz was playing his first international since early November. He played no part in the Ashes, as Australia preferred Xavier Doherty and Michael Beer as specialist spinners.

Clarke bemoaned Hauritz's luck. "For this to happen now I feel for him. Anytime anyone gets injured it's a loss. They are disappointed personally, especially someone like Haury who has had to go back to first-class cricket where he's been playing really well. It's a setback though because you want to keep playing as much cricket as you can and get as much form under your belt as possible. Hopefully he'll be right for the World Cup – he'll play a big part in that."

Ponting and Hussey are sidelined with finger and hamstring injuries respectively, while Shaun Tait may miss tomorrow's match with a thigh injury sustained yesterday.

The World Cup will be the final appearance in international cricket of Muttiah Muralitharan. The off-spinner, who retired from Test cricket last summer, will play his last match for Sri Lanka during next month's competition.

"I'm going to retire from international cricket, totally, after this World Cup," said the bowler with a world-record 800 Test wickets.

Sri Lanka are co-hosting the tournament and Muralitharan is hopeful that the combination of home advantage and recent form could see them regain the trophy. "Our preparation has been good, but I think we have a good chance because we're playing in Sri Lanka. We have experienced players and young players, and our side has done very well for the last two years in one-day cricket."

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