Perth spearhead Jhye Richardson’s hopes of an Ashes call up have taken another hit, with confirmation he’ll be sidelined with a hamstring strain.
It’s just another cruel blow to one of the nation’s unluckiest cricketers, as injury continues to ruin his international career – after first dislocating his shoulder while fielding in Australia’s 2019 World Cup campaign.
He missed WA’s successful Shield final in 2022 after straining his hamstring in a one-day clash in the weeks prior and has missed multiple Shield contests this season with a bruised heel – eliminating him from any higher Australian selection.
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Richardson admitted it was a “race against time” to even be fit for the start of this BBL season due to his heel issue.
But the paceman had been one of the players of the tournament so far, picking up 15 wickets in just seven games.
His form has seen Richardson rocket back into contention for a possible Indian tour, with three ODIs to be played in March, along with an Ashes series looming mid-year.
But the 26-year-old limped off late in his side’s six-wicket loss to the Sydney Thunder on Wednesday night and will now be out of action for a number of weeks.
It’s a big blow for Richardson, who was touted by ex-England Test captain Michael Vaughan as a player to watch heading into the Ashes.
“I’ve always really liked Jhye Richardson. I think he’s going to be an absolute star,” Vaughan said.
“And I think he’s going to be the type of bowler that’s going to have a huge amount of success in England.
“If you put a Duke’s ball in Jhye Richardson’s hands, I think he’s going to have a huge amount of success.”
Richardson stunned with his five wickets against the old enemy in Adelaide in the 2021/22 home Ashes series, and loomed as a possible squad inclusion for the upcoming tour starting in June.
But whether he’ll have enough time to prove his fitness and then form remains to be seen.
Just last month the 26-year-old admitted his body wasn’t up for the longer format of the game just yet, given the injury toll he’s endured.
“Only bowling eight overs a week, that’s probably not a great load to go into Test match,” Richardson told cricket.com.au
“No doubt there will be some things on the horizon and hopefully an Ashes next year, an India trip, there’s plenty to look forward to so we’ll see what happens.”
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Scorchers coach Adam Voges says he hopes his pace ace will be fit enough to return for BBL finals, should Perth get there.
“It’s on the very minor end of the hamstring strain,” Voges told media on Friday.
“Two to three weeks, we’re certainly hopeful that we’ll see him before the end of the tournament again.
“I think you need to (be cautious), certainly with someone of Jhye’s calibre.
“We’ve got a world class medical staff here and I’ll trust them to put the work in with Jhye over the next two weeks and hopefully we’ll see him back on the park as soon as possible.
“We need to play well enough to play finals and if we can do that, then I imagine (Jhye’s return) will be the bonus we get.”
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Richardson took a career-best 4-9 in his first game back from his heel issue last month and admitted he still held out hopes of a national call up.
“(The focus) is going to be managing this heel and making sure that doesn’t flare up again,” he said.
“(I’ll) get through the tournament and see what lies ahead.”
Richardson says he’ll still push his case for Australian selection by returning to the longer domestic format after the BBL is done.
“It’s obviously a long time until then (the Shield starts back up) but definitely be looking at Shield cricket after this one.”