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New Delhi, May 22 – Australia have issued a fitness update on Josh Hazlewood’s availability ahead of World Test Championship final and followed by the Ashes, saying the fast bowler’s scans have shown no soreness despite him returning early from the Royal Challengers Bangalore campaign in IPL 2023.
Hazlewood had to miss Australia’s tour of India earlier in the year due to a left achilles injury and had to sit out of the first half of IPL 2023 due to recovery from the injury. He eventually played three games for the Faf du Plessis side, the last of which came on May 9 and bowled nine overs overall.
A report in ESPNCricinfo on Monday said Hazlewood has now returned to bowling as scans showed no damage and is gearing up to be part of the Australian squad departing for England, to pair up with captain Pat Cummins and left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc.
“Josh Hazlewood returned home from the IPL last weekend after experiencing minor side soreness after the completion of his most recent IPL match.”
“After a brief and precautionary rest period, Hazlewood returned to high intensity bowling last week and will continue to increase his bowling workloads in preparation for the WTC and Ashes series. Hazlewood is considered fit and available for the WTC and Ashes Series,” said a Cricket Australia spokesperson in the report.
Hazlewood is part of the initial 17-player squad named by Australia for the tour of England, but it will be cut to 15 names for the WTC final by May 28.
The report added that the visitors will be training at Beckenham, south of London, ahead of the WTC final against India from June 7-11 at The Oval, followed by the Ashes taking place between June 16 to July 31.