Scorchers suffer double blow with Mitch Marsh and Phil Salt ruled out of BBL

Perth Scorchers have suffered a major blow to their BBl title defence with Australia allrounder Mitchell Marsh and England batter Phil Salt both ruled out of the entire BBL due to injury.

Marsh will miss three months of cricket after undergoing keyhole surgery on his troubled left ankle. He has carried the ankle problem for many years and reinjured it during Australia’s ODI series with Zimbabwe in August, which ruled him out for over a month and compromised his preparation for the T20 World Cup and limited his ability to bowl in the tournament itself.

Marsh’s decision to have surgery now will give him a chance to be fit for Australia’s next ODI assignment in India in March.

Salt sustained a grade two ligament injury on his left shoulder during the third and final ODI against Australia last week in Melbourne. He was diving to save a boundary and also suffered a concussion in the same incident and was subbed out of the game. His arm was in a sling in the rooms after the match to protect his shoulder and following his return to England he consulted a shoulder specialist who recommended he miss both the Abu Dhabi T10 tournament and the BBL.

Scorchers had already lost Laurie Evans after terminating his contract following a positive anti-doping test. They recruited South Africa star Faf du Plessis for a seven-game stint as a short-term replacement for Evans prior to him heading to South Africa for the new CSA T20 league in January.

Scorchers general manager Kade Harvey said the defending champions would look to source further replacements for Marsh and Salt.

“Losing Mitch and Phil so close to the start of the season is very disappointing,” Harvey said.

“Mitch is one of the best ball-strikers in global cricket with an incredible BBL record, and his leadership and presence around the group is enormous.

“Phil has proven his class for England and in T20 tournaments around the world, so it’s unfortunate he won’t pull on the orange this summer.

“We’re under no illusions about how difficult it will be to cover the absence of Mitch and Phil, but we take pride in the depth of our squad and have a lot of players capable of stepping up.”

In better news for Scorchers, fast bowler Jhye Richardson is expected to be fit for the start of the BBL despite being kept out of Western Australia’s Sheffield Shield match against Queensland this week due to a bruised heel.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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