Stars to take injuries into bat
SEVERAL of Australia's Southern Stars will carry niggling injuries into the women's World Cup, which begins in India next week.
While two of the team's biggest stars, Ellyse Perry and Jess Cameron, have overcome calf and knee problems respectively, medium-pacer Julie Hunter is on the comeback trail from a stress reaction in her foot and Sarah Coyte is managing a back injury.
The Southern Stars are coming off an unprecedented workload for women's cricket, and Perry is busier than most as she balances cricket with soccer, and will miss the W-League grand final this weekend to fly to India with the Stars squad.
She initially picked up a hamstring injury playing soccer but was nursed through a Rose Bowl series against New Zealand after hurting her calf.
Coach Cathryn Fitzpatrick does not believe the multitalented star's World Cup preparation has been disrupted by soccer but acknowledged the balancing act would get harder for the young fast bowler.
''At some point we're going to feel like we miss out and soccer will feel the same way, but Ellyse is the one who has to deal with it more than us,'' Fitzpatrick said.
''We're quite pleased with where she's at and hopefully she doesn't get a recurrence of that [injury] but we're going to India, the grounds are going to be hard and the girls are coming off a fairly long campaign and there's always going to be niggles … But we've got good coverage in our squad and we know we have to monitor all the players to make sure we're in the best possible condition for the final.''
Cameron damaged the meniscus in her knee during the World Twenty20 final in October, and teenaged spinner Jess Jonassen (knee) has been replaced in the squad by Renee Chappell.