Sydney Thunder star Andre Russell’s KFC Big Bash season is over, with West Indies World T20 hero Carlos Brathwaite to replace the allrounder for the remainder of BBL|06.
Russell was stretchered off from Spotless Stadium after injuring his left hamstring against the Melbourne Stars during Wednesday night’s final-ball thriller and the Thunder confirmed on Thursday the injury would sideline the allrounder for at least 4-6 weeks.
Russell pulled up lame after chasing a ball to the third man boundary, immediately falling to the ground and clutching his leg.
The 29-year-old overseas signing played with a knee injury throughout the tournament.
Russell was visibly limping during the Thunder’s loss to the Perth Scorchers on Sunday and the early stages of Wednesday’s match in Sydney.
“Andre has been playing with long standing tendinitis of the right knee, that flared up in the opening rounds for the BBL,” said Sydney Thunder Physiotherapist Murray Ryan.
“This was investigated via MRI following the Perth Scorchers game and several interventions implemented to assist his symptoms and allow him to continue playing.
“Unfortunately Andre's playing fitness has been compounded further by an injury to his left hamstring - the extent of this injury to be confirmed further via scans in Sydney tomorrow, however initial signs suggest a minimum 4-6 week recovery.”
Brathwaite become one of the world's most sought-after T20 cricketers after his heroics during the last over of the World T20 Final against England at the Eden Gardens, when he catapulted four consecutive sixes off Ben Stokes to seal the title for the Windies.
“Carlos is dedicated to learning and advancing his game,” Thunder coach Paddy Upton said. “With both bat and ball he’s a very skilled T20 cricketer.
"I’ve had the pleasure of working with him for a season in the IPL and he really is the highest quality individual.
“He’s a top quality cricketer and person, which ticks the two big boxes when it comes to Thunder recruiting players.”
The Thunder have not confirmed whether Brathwaite will be available for their next clash against Hobart Hurricanes at Blundstone Arena on Sunday.
That match will mark the debut of England batsman James Vince, who has replaced departing international Eoin Morgan, who has left the defending champions to captain England’s limited-overs teams in India.