Adding to the injuries woes of the defending champions Sydney Sixers fast bowler Tom Curran and spinner Ben Manenti has been ruled out of the remaining BBL 2021-22 tournament. Curran suffered a troublesome hotspot in his back and will be flying to the UK immediately for his rehabilitation. On the other, Manenti is troubled with a stress fracture in the next that has forced him to drop out of the tournament.
Curran, who has six wickets in four games this season, was anticipated to play a key part in the Sixers’ pace attack with Chris Jordan of England. Before missing last season’s BBL due to travel difficulties and the necessity to quarantine, he was the team’s leading wicket-taker in the 2019-2020 title-winning campaign and chipped in with the bat in the middle order.
Meanwhile, Manenti, who sustained stress fractures in his neck, will continue to get therapy in Hobart and Sydney, where he plays Premier Cricket.
Meanwhile, Steve O’Keefe has also been ruled out for the “short term” following a calf strain in the Sixers’ seven-wicket win against the Melbourne Stars at the MCG on Wednesday. The experienced spinner is unlikely to play in the Sixers’ next home match against Adelaide Strikers on Tuesday, according to a statement, but will return in due course.
“We pride ourselves on being a club and a team that embraces challenges but to lose players of the calibre of Tom and Ben, and to have SOK on the sidelines, would be a challenge for any team and those guys aren’t simply replaced,” captain Moises Henriques said.
“On and off the field, all three of those guys play a massive role for us and their presence around the team and skills on the field will be missed by everybody in the group. But for us, we always look to have 18-match ready players in our squad and we see it as an opportunity for others within our group.”
Henriques feels that there is no reason to be anxious because the string of injuries has simply allowed leg spinner Lloyd Pope and quick bowler, Mickey Edwards, to step up.
“There are guys like Lloyd Pope and Mickey Edwards who really deserve an opportunity, but due to the strength of our list haven’t been able to get as many chances as they deserve,” Henriques said. “So, it will be a great little period for those guys to have a run of games.
“We also saw Ben Dwarshuis return from injury this week, Jackson Bird isn’t too far away, and Sean Abbott is back after the birth of his daughter, so there is no need to panic.”
So far, the Sixers have won three of their four games in BBL 2021-22 and amassed 11 points.