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King a doubt for rest of T20 World Cup after ‘worrying’ side strain

Brandon King is a doubt for the rest of the T20 World Cup after suffering a side strain in the West Indies match against England in St Lucia on Wednesday night.

King raced to 23 off 12 balls to get West Indies off to a flying start, including a towering 101-metre six off Reece Topley which flew with the wind over the midwicket boundary and necessitated a replacement ball.

But he was injured while facing his 13th ball, having charged down the pitch attempting to hit Sam Curran through cover. King took one further step then crumpled over and was forced to retire hurt after receiving treatment from a member of West Indies’ medical staff.

He did not field in England’s run chase, with Shimron Hetmyer replacing him as a substitute fielder, and Cricket West Indies confirmed he had been diagnosed with a side strain. “Brandon King has suffered a side strain and will not return to the field of play in this evening’s match,” CWI said.

Side strains tend to take several weeks to heal fully, making King a major doubt for the rest of the World Cup with only 10 days remaining before the end of the tournament. Captain Rovman Powell admitted that King’s injury was a “worrying” sign for his side.

“Yes, a little bit worrying but hopefully he can pull through for the next game,” Powell said after England cruised past West Indies. “We know how important a player he is for us.”

While King has not been at his best so far, with a top score of 34, it would be a significant blow to lose a senior player who stepped in as captain against South Africa last month while Powell was at the IPL.

West Indies have five players on standby for the World Cup: Andre Fletcher, Kyle Mayers, Fabian Allen, Hayden Walsh Jr. and Matthew Forde. Mayers is the most likely replacement, having been widely considered unfortunate to miss the initial cut, though Fletcher is another contender as a top-order batter.

West Indies travel to Barbados on Thursday ahead of their second Super Eight fixture against USA at Kensington Oval on Friday