Explosive batsman Chris Lynn has been ruled out of the KFC T20 INTL series against Sri Lanka after he aggravated a bulging disc in his neck, replaced by Adelaide Strikers opener Ben Dunk for the three-match series.
Lynn’s one-day international and KFC Big Bash League campaigns were both ended by the neck injury last month, but the Brisbane Heat and Queensland star had hoped to recover in time for the first T20, to be played in Melbourne on 17 February.
Bupa Support Team Physiotherapist Kevin Sims said Lynn had aggravated the injury at training last week.
"Chris resumed some light training as part of his rehabilitation but was still unable to function at the level he needs to play international cricket due to his existing neck injury,” Sims said.
"Chris will be seeing a specialist later this week and from there we will have a better understanding of the ongoing management, along with the return to play timeframes.”
Lynn's next opportunity to represent Australia will be the Champions Trophy in England in June, while his availability for the Indian Premier League in April remains to be seen.
Australia squad: Aaron Finch (c), Patrick Cummins, Ben Dunk, James Faulkner, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Michael Klinger, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Billy Stanlake, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa
Dunk was the leading run-scorer in BBL|06, having thrived after an off-season move to the Strikers from the Hobart Hurricanes.
He posted three half-centuries for the tournament and finished with a strike rate of more than 160 across his eight matches.
"It’s unfortunate that Chris is not fit to participate in this series, but we are excited at the prospects Ben will bring to the squad,” Interim National Selector Trevor Hohns said.
"Ben was the highest run scorer for the Big Bash in the season just gone, amassing a total of 364 runs in just 222 balls faced and currently sits on an average of 52.
"He has had consistent performances in the BBL, IPL and CPL and also brings international experience to the squad,” concluded Hohns.
Despite his BBL|06 run-fest, Dunk was dropped from Tasmania’s Sheffield Shield side for their first match after the BBL break against Queensland last week, and remains on the sidelines for their clash with Western Australia beginning at Blundstone Arena on Friday.
He had managed just one half-century from 10 innings this summer before the mid-season break for the BBL.
Lynn smashed 26 sixes in BBL|06, including 11 in one match against the Perth Scorchers at the WACA, before being called into Australia’s one-day squad and making his debut at the Gabba.
After that game, he was sent for scans in Brisbane where it was discovered he had been batting with a serious neck injury for at least the previous five weeks.
"I've had a bulging disc in my neck for the past five weeks, but I only had a scan last week (and) found out it was pushing against the nerve," Lynn said last month, revealing he had been playing with excruciating pain throughout his BBL campaign.
"I actually thought it was in my shoulder but it’s the pain from the disc. It's not ideal."
Australia will play Sri Lanka at the MCG (17 February), Geelong’s Kardinia Park (19 February) and at Adelaide Oval (22 February).
The squad will assemble in Melbourne on Monday.
All three matches will be double-headers with the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars, who are taking on fierce rivals New Zealand.