England’s World Cup defence is under serious threat as the team’s premier left-arm pacer Reece Topley has been ruled out of the ongoing tournament after suffering a fracture in his left index finger.
Topley, 29, was seen grimacing in pain during his fourth over against South Africa on Saturday after he was struck in an attempt to field a ball in his follow-through. He was immediately taken off and after receiving some treatment on his fingers came back to bowl five more overs in the game. However, the Ipswich-born was not able to bat as the defending champions suffered a 229-run drubbing.
England’s white-ball head coach Matthew Mott had mentioned after the game that the bowler was likely to miss the upcoming matches of the showpiece event but wanted to wait for the report of scans.
The England Cricket Board gave the official update on Sunday and informed that Topley won’t be a part of the team going ahead in the tournament due to the blow. “News we didn’t want to bring you, Reece Topley has been ruled out of the rest of the #CWC23. We’re all with you, Toppers,” posted England Cricket on ‘X’ formerly Twitter.
The defending champions are in dire straits at the moment and occupy the ninth spot with a dismal net run rate (NRR) of -1.248. The Jos Buttler-led side needs to win all of its remaining games (five matches) to stand a chance of qualifying for the semi-finals of the tournament. They had also lost three matches in the previous edition of the ODI World Cup back in 2019 but were able to script a remarkable turnaround.
The Three Lions need to take inspiration from the same and push for victories in each of their remaining games. They will face Sri Lanka at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Thursday, October 26.