21st May: Chennai Super Kings v M. Indians, 14:30 GMT
16th-20th May: 1st Test, Lord's
Chris Tremlett faces a spell of at least three months on the sidelines after specialists recommended that he have an operation on his back. The decision means that he will miss England’s two Test matches in Sri Lanka at the end of March and beginning of April, as well as the first month of the county season with Surrey, meaning that he will struggle to be match fit for the start of England’s Test summer against West Indies at the end of May.
Tremlett detailed the exact nature of the problem on Twitter, saying, “Scans reveal a bulging disc and may require a little clean up. Hopefully [will be] back playing mid to end of April.”
The Hampshire man has been plagued by injuries throughout his cricketing career – possibly in part due to his incredible six foot seven inch physique – and the latest one can be traced as far back as July last year when he was forced to withdraw from the Test series against India complaining of a back problem. Following this, he underwent a period of rest and recuperation and only bowled again in a competitive match during England’s warm-up fixture against a PCB XI in January.
Unfortunately the strain of competitive cricket appears to have proved too much and he was forced to fly home from the UAE after the first Test in Dubai after experiencing more discomfort.
In the past Tremlett has struggled with various injuries, but following his move to Surrey in 2010 he appeared to have put all that behind him. In his first season with the club he took 48 first-class wickets at an average of just over 20, which resulted in him earning a call-up to that winter’s Ashes squad. He benefited from an injury to Stuart Broad and played in the third Test in Perth, since when he has taken 36 wickets in his next seven Tests at an average of 25.69.
However, at the age of 30, and with many young fast bowlers waiting in the wings for England, this latest setback could prove problematic for his Test future. It can only be hoped that the England hierarchy, who are known to rate him highly, will give him time to recover.
© Cricket World 2012
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