Bowling doubts about Perry for Comm Games

Australian cricket star Ellyse Perry hopes to find out in the next fortnight whether she can bowl at the Commonwealth Games.

The allrounder is in the Australian team as a batter only at this stage, after the lower back injury that restricted her earlier this year at the World Cup was diagnosed as a stress fracture.

After missing the tournament semi-final, Perry played in the final early last month as a batter only as Australia beat England to win the 50-over crown.

While Perry said her back is better, it remains unclear when she will bowl again.

“It’s tracking really well, which is nice. It’s really dependent, I think, on the next couple of weeks,” she said.

.”I’m having some progressing scans … and each time, they will give a clearer indication of how it’s healing and where I’m at in terms of bowling again.

“I have to wait until it’s completely healed before I can start bowling.

“It could be soon, but it might be delayed.”

Perry added there could be a silver lining to her latest injury.

“In a way I actually feel like Benjamin Button, because apparently these are very much a young person’s injury,” the 31-year-old said

Teammate Ashleigh Gardner said she had no idea Perry was nursing such a serious injury through the World Cup.

“It’s a credit to her to be able to bat as well obviously … I just read before that she actually did have lower back stress fractures,” Gardner said.

“It just shows probably even in that World Cup final she was probably holding that injury, but you just have to watch her in the field and she was still throwing herself around.

“She always gives 100 per cent to the team whether she is bowling or not.”

Australia have named the same powerful 15-player squad that won the World Cup for the Commonwealth Games, where women’s T20 will make its Games debut.

Australia will play a T20 series against Ireland and Pakistan in Derry from July 16-23 before the Commonwealth Games.

Their first Games match will be against India on July 29.

By competing at a Commonwealth Games, Perry will add to her unique sporting resume.

The 31-year-old is the only Australian to have played in a cricket and a soccer World Cup, the latter in 2011 in Germany.

The one change to the Australian team will be the coach – Matthew Mott has left for the head role with the England men’s one-day team.

Assistant Shelley Nitschke will be the interim women’s head coach at the Games.

Australia will start the Games as the overwhelming gold medal favourites.

It will be the second time that cricket has been played at the Games – Steve Waugh’s 50-over team won the silver medal at Kuala Lumpur in 1998.

While Australia will be the team to beat, they are yet to win at Edgbaston.

The women have lost their two Tests and only one-day international at the ground.

WOMEN’S TWENTY20 COMMONWEALTH GAMES SQUAD

Meg Lanning (capt), Rachael Haynes (vice capt), Darcie Brown, Nicola Carey, Ashleigh Gardner, Grace Harris, Alyssa Healy, Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Amanda Jade Wellington.

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