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29 November 2023

Hussey stunned by ‘bitter pill’ of World Cup exclusion


Australia batsman Mike Hussey was stunned to be dropped from the World Cup squad and felt the selectors had ignored precedent in not giving him a chance to recover from injury.      

Hussey was Australia’s top batsman in the recent Ashes series and selected for the February 19-April 2 tournament on the subcontinent despite rupturing his hamstring in a one-dayer against England last month.             
On Tuesday, however, Cricket Australia decided they were not prepared to take a chance on him recovering in time and he was replaced in the 15-man squad by Callum Ferguson.
“I’m really disappointed and a bit shocked by the news,” the 35-year-old told Fox Sports.              
“I tried to push my case forward. I said I would really push (to be fit) by the second game and definitely right by the third game but it’s not a risk the selectors wanted to take.     
“It’s a pretty hard pill to swallow, that’s for sure.”            
Hussey, nicknamed ‘Mr Cricket’ because of his passion for the game, has scored 4,469 runs in 151 one-day internationals at an average of 51.96, although he only made 87 runs in six innings at the last World Cup in 2007. 
The Western Australian said he felt that he should have been given the same chance as Andrew Symonds had been in 2007, when the all-rounder missed the early part of the tournament through injury.        
“The precedence had sort of been set at the last one with Andrew Symonds,” Hussey added. “He came in for the third or fourth game and played a really big part in our team.     
“I was hoping that it would be the same sort of thing for me, they’d give me every chance to have a crack at it at least.”               
Hussey’s was under pressure for his place in the Australia side for the Ashes at the start of the summer but his innings of 195 in Brisbane and 116 in Perth were among the few highlights of the 3-1 series defeat for the hosts.    
“This just shows you can’t look too far ahead ... it can all end pretty quickly,” Hussey said.            
Australia, who have won the last three World Cups, leave for India later on Wednesday and play their first Group A match of the tournament against Zimbabwe in Ahmedabad on February 21.