West Indies face major blow as Brandon King suffers injury in loss to England

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West Indies face major blow as Brandon King suffers injury in loss to England

The West Indies’ T20 World Cup campaign took a severe hit after their eight-wicket defeat to England in the Super 8s match in St Lucia on Wednesday night with the news that they could be without opener Brandon King for the remainder of the tournament. The Jamaican retired hurt due to an apparent side strain early in their innings of 180-4.

King had given the West Indies a strong start, smashing 23 runs off just 12 balls, including a massive 101-metre six off Reece Topley that flew over the midwicket boundary. However, his promising innings was abruptly halted on his 13th delivery when he attempted to drive Sam Curran through the covers and suffered a side strain, forcing him to retire hurt after medical attention.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) later confirmed the injury: “Brandon King has suffered a side strain and will not return to the field of play in this evening’s match.” King did not field during England’s chase, with Shimron Hetmyer taking his place.

Side strains usually take several weeks to heal, making King’s participation in the remaining matches of the World Cup highly unlikely with only ten days left in the tournament. West Indies captain Rovman Powell expressed concern over King’s injury. “Yes, a little bit worrying but hopefully he can pull through for the next game,” Powell said. “We know how important a player he is for us.”

King’s absence would be a significant setback for the West Indies. Despite a modest tournament so far with a top score of 34, King’s experience and leadership, having recently captained the team against South Africa, are invaluable.

The West Indies have five standby players: Andre Fletcher, Kyle Mayers, Fabian Allen, Hayden Walsh Jr., and Matthew Forde. Kyle Mayers, who narrowly missed the initial squad, is the frontrunner to replace King, though Fletcher’s experience as a top-order batsman also makes him a strong candidate.

The team will travel to Barbados on Thursday ahead of their next Super Eight match against the USA at Kensington Oval on Friday. With their World Cup ambitions in jeopardy, the West Indies will need to quickly adapt and find a way to mitigate the loss of their dynamic opener.

As the tournament continues, the focus will be on the West Indies to see how they handle this adversity and whether Brandon King can make an unexpected return to bolster their World Cup hopes.