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September 25, 2009

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Bracken out but Younis recovers for India clash

AUSTRALIA fast bowler Nathan Bracken has been ruled out of the ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa due to a right knee injury.

Team officials yesterday said medical staff had determined Bracken could not continue playing, and that he will consult a knee specialist when he returns to Sydney.

"The nature of Nathan's right knee problem has meant that he has had some ongoing manageable pain, but this has now reached a point where he is unable to continue playing in the ICC Champions Trophy," team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said.

A decision on a replacement player for Bracken will need to be confirmed by the ICC's technical committee before being announced, Cricket Australia said.

Australia begins its defense of the limited-overs Champions Trophy when it plays the West Indies in Johannesburg tomorrow.

Bracken, 32, had mixed success in Australia's recent seven-match ODI series in England, claiming seven wickets at an average of 35.14 in six appearances.

Bracken's injury is among several at the tournament.

India vice captain Yuvraj Singh broke a finger during fielding practice on Wednesday. He will be out for six weeks and was replaced in the squad by Virat Kohli.

Pakistan captain Younis Khan also broke a finger on his right hand while going for a catch in the slips during a warmup game against the West Indies last Friday.

But he will lead his team against India in a crucial match after missing the opening group game against the West Indies, the Pakistan Cricket Board said in a statement yesterday.

Shahid Afridi led Pakistan to a five-wicket win over the West Indies on Wednesday.

Pakistan takes on arch-rival India tomorrow at Centurion before meeting Australia in the last group match on September 30.

"He (Khan) could have been available for the match against West Indies, but team management decided not to take the risk so that he could be fully fit and available for the crunch game against India," the PCB statement said.


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