Australia have suffered a huge blow just ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 as in-form pace bowler Mitchell Johnson has been ruled out of the tournament with an infected toe.
The left-armer, who was instrumental in helping Australia beat England 5-0 at home and South Africa 2-1 away in recent Test series, will be replaced by Doug Bollinger, another left-arm fast bowler.
Johnson cut his toe during the third Test in South Africa and Cricket Australia (CA) have allowed as much time as they could for it to respond to treatment.
However, he has not been able to recover sufficiently and Bollinger, who played the last of his two Twenty20 Internationals against South Africa in 2011, gets his chance to join up with the squad.
"We have given Mitchell as long as we can but unfortunately his infection hasn’t responded to the treatment as quickly as we had hoped with swelling remaining in his toe and foot," CA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Justin Paoloni said.
"It is difficult to say how quickly the infection will take to resolve and due to the high risk of infection recurrence with a return to bowling we feel it is in the best interests of Mitchell's health for him to continue to receive intensive treatment in Perth."
The ICC Event Technical Committee has approved the change in Australia's squad and although Bollinger has played just two T20s for his country, he is an experienced Indian Premier League campaigner with the Chennai Super Kings.
"This is disappointing news as it was anticipated that Mitch would have a significant impact with his pace and menace," National Selector John Inverarity commented.
"Doug Bollinger has been called into the squad to replace Mitchell. Doug has had significant experience in the sub-continent and in international white ball cricket and his ability to bowl with good pace was a factor in his selection."
And Australia are not the only side making a late change to their plans with Nepal, in action later today against Hong Kong, replacing the injured Avinash Karn with Anil Kumar Mandal.
Karn injured his right knee and has been ruled out of the tournament. Mandal, 23, has played nine Twenty20 games and played for Nepal at the ICC World Cup Qualifier in New Zealand earlier this year.
Nepal also play Afghanistan and Bangladesh as they bid to join Australia in Group 1 of the tournament, alongside India, Pakistan and the West Indies.
© Cricket World 2014