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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Irish handed Balbirnie injury boost

Andrew Balbirnie has skippered Ireland in all three formats since November 2019

Ireland captain Andrew Balbirnie could be fit in time for the Men’s T20 World Cup after tests reveal a toe injury is not as serious as initially feared.

The key batsman sustained an impact toe injury in Sunday’s warm-up defeat by the United Arab Emirates.

Cricket Ireland said on Monday that there is no fracture and the “issue is more from bruising and swelling – which is what we were hoping to hear”.

Ireland take on the Netherlands in their World Cup opener next Monday.

Balbirnie was unable to bear weight after retiring hurt on 15 in Dubai and it was feared he would could miss the World Cup with a fracture.

Ireland lost by seven wickets as the UAE won the three-game warm-up series 2-1.

The Irish will now play two official warm-up games in Abu Dhabi this week, facing Papua New Guinea on Tuesday and Bangladesh two days later.

“We have started intensive treatment to bring this [swelling] down to a level that will make Andrew comfortable to enough to take the field in the coming days,” added Cricket Ireland.

“It’s currently too early to confirm if Andrew will be ready for Tuesday’s warm-up game, but we hope that recovery will be swift now that we know we are not dealing with any bone injuries.”

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