England captain Andrew Strauss has given the one-day team genuine hope of qualifying for the knock out phase of the World Cup after contracting a stomach bug which could prevent him from participating in the must win clash against the West Indies.
Strauss, whose leftfield field settings have led some commentators to suggest he is showing signs of the early onset of mental illness, missed Tuesday’s practice session bringing a discernible spring to the step of those well enough to practise having their stumps removed.
Ian Bell told reporters that he was crossing his fingers in the hope the bug proved to be as adept at keeping his captain in the pavilion as opposition bowlers have been during the tournament being held in India.
Bell told assembled reporters, “This news must be a real blow to the West Indians, who have lost a bit of a gimme at the top of our one day batting order.”
“They’ve also lost a captain who sets such porous field positions one could imagine he places his fielders by throwing them up in the air and letting them stay wherever they land.”
Strauss ill for World Cup match v West Indies
England Coach Andy Flower said his captain was set to undergo tests to ascertain the seriousness of his illness, but there was still hope he would be out for a prolonged period of time.
Flower told reporters, “If this bug manages to keep him out of this match, then we will be looking to ensure he comes down with something a little more long term in time for the quarter finals.”
“He’s getting on a bit now, so he could fall down the stairs or have any other random sort of accident. You know?”