Australia has copped a huge blow on the eve of the Ashes after one of our best batters suffered a nasty knock at training.
Australian coach Matthew Mott is hopeful superstar batter Beth Mooney won’t miss the entire Ashes series after she suffered a broken jaw in a training accident on the eve of the showdown with England.
Mott was the man throwing balls to Mooney in the nets in Adelaide on Monday when one “reared up” and struck her on the chin “pretty hard”.
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Mooney, the number one T20 batter in the world, stood at the back of nets for 15 minutes before being sent for x-rays which determined the left-hander needed surgery.
The multi-format series begins with the first of three T20s on Thursday and as assessment post-surgery will determine whether Mooney, who was also the leading run-scorer in the WBBL, can play any part.
A replacement batter for Mooney, who opens for Australia, could come from within the 15-player squad but Mott didn’t rule out calling on someone from outside the group.
He said that would be decided at a selection meeting on Tuesday night.
“This is a golden opportunity for a few people to put their hand up, there’s no reason it can’t come from outside the squad,” he said.
Australia’s preparation for the series, which includes a Test match and three ODIs, has been hit with with two Covid positives amount the playing group.
Spinner Molly Strano and batter Katie Mack, a member of the Australia A squad, won’t travel to Adelaide after testing positive.
Superstar all-rounder Ellyse Perry also missed Australia’s warm-up matches against Australia A at Karen Rolton Oval on Tuesday and is expected to arrive in Adelaide later than planned.
Mott said “scattered” was the best way to describe the lead-in with players arriving in small parties, at different times, which also impacted training.
“We’ve done as well as we can with people coming and going. Protocols have almost dominates discussions,” he said.
“This is when we kick in to cricket mode. We’ve done a lot of workshopping on what can and can’t happen.
“I think we’ve moved past trying to avoid Covid completely. We’ve tried to keep as separated as much as we can for as long as we can. There’s going to be cases, there are probably more to come.
“We’ll endure what we have to endure. We know we are in for a tough three months.”
Australia are already missing spin stars Georgia Wareham (ACL) and Sophie Molineux (foot) for the Ashes. Molineux could yet return for the one-day World Cup in New Zealand in March.
Mack will remain at home in Canberra ahead of the Australia A 50-matches against England A, while Strano will travel direct to Canberra once she completes her period of isolation at home in Hobart.
South Australia and Melbourne Renegades all-rounder Courtney Webb has been called into the Australia A squad as cover for Strano and Mack.
Originally published as Australian batter Beth Mooney suffers fracture jaw on the eve of the Ashes