JLT Sheffield Shield 2018-19
Fresh back injury sidelines Worrall
South Australian paceman's Ashes dream officially over after stress fracture ends county campaign in second game
14 May 2019, 10:01 AM AEST
The Ashes dream of South Australian quick Dan Worrall is officially over after he was diagnosed with a back stress-fracture that has ended his county cricket stint.
The luckless Worrall had an injury-plagued season with the Redbacks last summer and managed just four JLT Sheffield Shield matches as he battled back and hamstring issues.
Those four matches had seen him claim 20 wickets at 18.25 to have him eyeing the Australia A and Ashes tours in the winter, with former Test quick Mitchell Johnson nominating the swing bowler as an Ashes bolter. But that dream has now been cruelly curtailed.
South Australia Sports Science and Sports Medicine Manager John Porter said the injury was a recurrence of a pre-existing stress injury and he expected to have at least the next 12 weeks off bowling.
The Redbacks are aiming for him to return early in the home domestic season.
Worrall managed just two one-day fixtures for Gloucestershire last month, and was unable to complete the second of those, bowling six overs against Middlesex.
It comes after his first stint with the county last year also ended prematurely due to a serious foot injury.
The county confirmed Worrall’s injury in a statement overnight.
"Dan has had an interrupted domestic season in Australia with injury but came to England fully fit having successfully recovered from a hamstring injury," the statement read.
"Unfortunately, during the 50 over competition Dan suffered some back pain which meant he could not complete the match against Middlesex.
"Dan had multiple investigations where the Gloucestershire medical team eventually diagnosed a stress fracture in his back, which will require a period of time on the sidelines before returning to bowling."
Worrall was left "shattered" in March when a hamstring problem curtailed his return to the Redbacks' Shield side, in another blow to his hopes of forcing his way into Australia’s Test squad.
"He was looking for Australia A, or Ashes, and to win games for us – which is probably more disappointing for him," SA coach Jamie Siddons said at the time.
The news comes as South Australia announced their 2019-20 domestic contract list, with four young names added to the squad.
Veterans Callum Ferguson and Tom Cooper have been retained after both were dropped from the Shield XI late last season as the Redbacks went winless and finished with the wooden spoon.
Flame-haired leg-spinner Lloyd Pope, who burst onto the Shield scene with a stunning seven-wicket haul in his debut match, was retained on a rookie contract while pace bowler Wes Agar – who plays with the Adelaide Strikers in the BBL – has joined the state system from Victoria on a full contract.
Northern Territory batsman Jacob Dickman, young speedster Tim Oakley and Canberra’s Henry Hunt, the leading run-scorer in the national Toyota Futures League last season, have all joined on rookie contracts.
Redbacks General Manager, High Performance Tim Nielsen said adding fast bowling depth had been a priority.
"Wes Agar has plenty of upside, he is still very young and can bowl with genuine speed and good bounce," Nielsen said.
"Tim Oakley also bowls with some zip and made his Futures League debut this year. We had some injury issues among our quick bowlers last season so we needed to add to that group.
"On the batting side, Jacob Dickman has impressed in a couple of opportunities in Futures and we think going into a full-time program will help fast-track him to competing for a spot in our top order.
“It’s also good to give Henry Hunt an opportunity to develop. He’s made runs in both red and white ball cricket and has shown he can make big scores.”
With Travis Head, Alex Carey, Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson all involved in the Australian team, Nielsen said the state needed to expedite the development of younger talent.
"It means we must have an eye on rejuvenating the squad across the next couple of years," Nielsen said.
"We have faith in our experienced players but we need more consistency from this group and we also need the young players in our system to keep growing and developing if we are to build success at domestic level."
Kelvin Smith, Elliot Opie and Michael Cormack were not offered new contracts while Jake Winter declined a contract for personal reasons.
South Australia 2019-20 contract list:
CA contracts: Alex Carey, Travis Head, Adam Zampa. Full contracts: Wes Agar, Tom Andrews, Tom Cooper, John Dalton, Callum Ferguson, David Grant, Jake Lehmann, Conor McInerney, Joe Mennie, Harry Nielsen, Patrick Page Jnr, Kane Richardson, Luke Robins, Alex Ross, Chadd Sayers, Cameron Valente, Jake Weatherald, Nick Winter, Daniel Worrall. Rookie contracts: Jacob Dickman, Henry Hunt, Spencer Johnson, Tim Oakley, Lloyd Pope, Ben Pengelley.