India's ace paceman Jasprit Bumrah has been ruled out of the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia due to a stress fracture, the PTI reported on Thursday (September 29).
"Bumrah is not going to play the World T20 for sure. He has a serious back condition. It's a stress fracture and he could be out for a period of six months," a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
Bumrah was out of action for over two months due to back spasm and had only made his return in the T20I series against Australia. The 28-year-old didn't play the series opener against South Africa on Wednesday after complaining of back pain.
This will come as a massive blow for India as Bumrah is one of the best all-format bowlers of the current generation and his absence could disrupt India's bowling plan for the showpiece event in Australia.
India have named Mohammed Shami in the stand-bys for the World Cup and the 32-year-old could be drafted into the main squad. Deepak Chahar is another option they have in the stand-bys.
Shami hasn't played a T20I since the last T20 World Cup in the UAE, while Chahar was part of the playing XI that defeated South Africa in the first T20I. The likes of Mohammed Siraj, Avesh Khan or Umran Malik could also come into contention.
The right-arm fast bowler becomes the second senior player to be ruled out after Ravindra Jadeja, who is recovering from a knee surgery.
"Losing Bumrah and Jadeja will be huge for India. We didn't expect that things will pan out as they have. He was rested for the Asia Cup precisely to manage his workload management. Now it remains a question if he was even fit enough to play the Australia series," the senior official said.
Many senior players have been given adequate rest, keeping in mind their workload. Bumrah has played only five Tests, five ODIs and as many T20Is in 2022 apart from IPL games for Mumbai Indians.
"That's not a lot of cricket, considering that he was rested for Asia Cup, West Indies tour and also some of the bilateral cricket played in India. That's a lot of rest. As of now he is at the NCA and the rehab will be a long and arduous one. Yes, World T20 is important but he is still young and India's biggest bowling asset. You can't take risk with him," the official said.
(With inputs from PTI)