Sat, Feb 24, 2007 - Page 8 News List

Aussie World Cup hopes dealt blow as Lee ruled out

AFP , SYDNEY

Australian pace spearhead Brett Lee was yesterday ruled out of next month's World Cup in the Caribbean with an ankle injury, Cricket Australia (CA) said.

Stuart Clark, who was a controversial omission from the original 15-man squad named last week, is his replacement, pending International Cricket Council (ICC) approval, CA said.

Australian team doctor Trefor James said following a review by an orthopedic specialist it was decided that Lee's damaged left ankle ligaments would keep him out of cricket for two to three months.

Chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said in a CA statement yesterday that he had been advised that Lee's ankle injury was more serious than first expected.

Team medical staff in consultation with specialists advised that Lee will be unavailable for the World Cup, he said.

CA said it has written to the ICC's Technical Committee to receive approval for Lee to be replaced by Clark, in accordance with the relevant ICC rules.

"It is a great disappointment for Brett Lee that he is unable to take his place in the Cricket World Cup and is a significant blow for the planning and preparation in place for the tournament," Hilditch said in the CA statement.

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