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Australia speedster Josh Hazlewood confirms his return after injury layoff

Hazlewood last played in the Test series against India in January.

Josh Hazelwood
Josh Hazelwood. (Photo by James Elsby/Getty Images)

Australia suffered a blow recently when their young fast bowler Jhye Richardson dislocated his shoulder while bowling in the second ODI against Pakistan recently in Sharjah. The 22-year-old bowler flew back home to get his injury assessed and since he was a replacement for the injured pacer Josh Hazlewood, the Australian camp was worried over the state of its pace battery ahead of the upcoming World Cup. Another frontline fast bowler Mitchell Starc is also recovering from injury.

Hazlwood hasn’t played cricket since the Test series against India

However, the Justin Langer-coached side heaved a sigh of relief when Hazlewood confirmed on Tuesday that he will be fit in time for the WC which will kick off in England and Wales on May 30. Australia’s first match in the mega tournament is against Afghanistan on June 1 in Bristol. Hazlewood, 28, last played in international cricket against India in the four-Test series at home.

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His last assignment in the 50-overs format was against South Africa last November. He was diagnosed with a back injury in January and missed a whole lot of series against India and Sri Lanka. He is not featuring in the Australian squad currently touring the UAE for a five-ODI series either.

“When the squad gets announced I’ll probably be 65-70 per cent (fit) and I’ve still got a good four or five weeks from that date to get ready to play one-day cricket,” Hazlewood was heard saying on the latest episode of The Unplayable Podcast.

“We head up to Brisbane early May, there’s a couple of games against New Zealand I believe – I don’t think I’ll be fit for those but the one-day warm-up games in England I think I’ll be right. Cutting it a little bit close I guess but pretty confident.”

The New South Wales bowler said he resumed bowling last week and is on track to make the cut into Australia’s World Cup squad, which will be announced on April 23. The defending champions, who have won their last five ODIs against India and Pakistan, will face a New Zealand side at Allan Border Field in Albion near Brisbane as part of their WC preparation. They will play a couple of warm-up games against England and Sri Lanka before the big event kicks off

Hazlewood also revealed that Starc too has resumed bowling after suffering a pectoral injury during the Test match in Canberra against Sri Lanka last month.

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