Kabir Ali is expected to miss the first six weeks of Hampshire’s season after suffering a bizarre injury during the pre-season trip to Barbados.
The former England fast bowler rolled his ankle on a cricket ball in an incident that has echoes of Glenn McGrath’s misfortune before the 2005 Edgbaston Test.
Unfortunately for Hampshire, Kabir’s injury is worst than first feared. It is the second freak injury suffered by the 31-year-old since his move from Worcestershire two years ago.
“Through no fault of mine or anyone’s, I just sprained my ankle a bit and it’s a little bit worse than we thought it was,” he said.
“Basically I landed on top of the ball and it’s a little more than just a sprain. I’m very frustrated at the moment because I’ve done all the hard work and the last couple of years haven’t been the best.
“The injury I had a couple years ago – the knee – that wasn’t my fault as well. It was a little freaky incident – an accident that took place – and this one is exactly the same again.
“I’m going to be out for another little bit – a couple of weeks more than what we thought it would be. It’s very frustrating for myself and the club.”
Hampshire are already without Dimi Mascarenhas for the start of the season as the veteran all-rounder is at the Indian Premier League with Kings XI Punjab.
They continue their preparations for the new season against Sussex at Hove this weekend before hosting Loughborough UCCE in their opening first-class game on April 6. Hampshire begin life back in Division Two of the LV County Championship at home to Gloucestershire on April 12.