Australia all-rounder Ellyse Perry is currently locked in a race against time to be fit for the semifinal against the West Indies in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup. Perry was rested from the match against Bangladesh since suffering back spasms in Australia’s win over South Africa last week.
But now with the business end of the World Cup approaching, Perry joined the Australian team in training on Monday with the hope that she plays in the semifinal on Wednesday. The winner of the semifinal between Australia and West Indies at Basin Reserve will play either South Africa or defending champions England in the final at Hagley Oval on Sunday.
“Each day we’ve assessed it, seen where it’s at, and it definitely has been improving, which is really nice. It’s going really well, but obviously, just need to make sure that I’m in the best possible spot to be able to contribute if I was to play. We’ll do a couple more things at training in the next few days. And if I get there, I do. Fingers crossed," Perry was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
Perry was ‘player of the match’ during Australia’s comfortable seven-wicket win over West Indies at the same venue in the league stage, dismissing Deandra Dottin, Hayley Matthews and Kycia Knight inside the powerplay and finished with figures of 3/22.
If the back spasms prevent Perry from playing in the semifinal, it will be the second time Perry missed Australia’s knockout matches in a World Cup. Previously, she had missed the semifinal and final of the 2020 Women’s T20 World Cup on home soil due to a high-grade hamstring tear in the last group match against New Zealand.
Australia’s head coach Matthew Mott has suggested that the team might look to play Perry as a specialist batter. But Perry isn’t currently thinking about that idea. “I don’t think you can have that approach to World Cup games. (The next match) is the most important thing at the time rather than casting your mind ahead.
“(Playing as a specialist batter) is very much up to the coaching staff and selectors. But if I can contribute in a really positive way and add to the team by being in it, absolutely (I’ll play), I’d love to be part of it. It’s not my call, but I’ll do everything I possibly can to be fit one way or another."
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