King ruled out of World T20; Mayers drafted in as replacement

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West Indies opening batter Brandon King has been ruled out of the remainder of the T20 World Cup 2024 due to a side strain he suffered during West Indies’ Super Eight loss against England on June 19.

Left-hand opening batter Kyle Mayers will replace King in the squad for the rest of the tournament. Mayers is likely to link up with the squad on Saturday.

Having been sent into bat by the England captain Jos Buttler in Gros Islet, King smashed 23 off just 12 balls, which included a 101-metre six off Reece Topley in the third over.

But, on his 13th ball, King, in a bid to charge down the track to smash Sam Curran through cover, injured himself. He received treatment from the medical staff but failed to carry on and retired hurt on 23 with West Indies eventually going down by eight wickets.

King did not field in the run-chase with Shimron Hetmyer filling in for him. He travelled to Barbados for West Indies’ Super Eight fixture against USA on Friday, as he awaited the results of his MRI scans, but has failed to pull through.

“The Event Technical Committee of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 has approved left-handed batter Kyle Mayers as a replacement for Brandon King in the West Indies squad,” an ICC release read. “Mayers, who has played 37 T20Is, was named as a replacement after King was ruled out due to a side strain. Mayers is expected to join the squad on Saturday.”

King’s absence is a big blow to West Indies’ fortunes. He has been the team’s leading run-scorer in T20Is since the start of 2023, with 651 runs in 23 innings, which includes four fifties. He was also the highest run-scorer in their 3-0 T20I series sweep over South Africa heading into the tournament.

The 29-year-old didn’t set the T20 World Cup alight though managing just 86 runs in five innings with a highest score of 34 against Papua New Guinea.

His replacement Mayers was widely considered unfortunate to miss the initial cut having had a decent 2024. In 11 T20 games this year, the left-hander has scored 367 runs, striking at 155.50. He has also picked nine wickets with his medium pace.

West Indies won four out of four games in the group stage but started the Super Eight with a loss. After their USA fixture on Friday in Barbados, they will play South Africa on Sunday in North Sound, Antigua. (ESPNcricinfo)

 

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