Praveen''s World Cup participation in doubt

Bangalore, Feb 7 (PTI) India''s World Cup preparationsappear to have received a blow with pacer Praveen Kumarlooking a doubtful starter for the forthcoming event as hehasn''t fully recovered from the elbow injury sustained duringthe South African series last month.

The Uttar Pradesh pacer Praveen underwent a fitness testearly this morning at the National Cricket Academy (NIA) hereto assess his fitness but it seems the injury had not healedas fast as was expected, a BCCI source indicated.

With less than a fortnight to go for the cricket WorldCup to get underway, it has been learnt that the anxiousCricket Board (BCCI) has also called discarded Kerala pacer SSreesanth to the NCA as Praveen''s possible replacement for thequadrennial event, beginning in Dhaka on February 19.

Sreesanth took a fitness test in the afternoon at NCA, amove which is seen as a precautionary measure by the BCCI.

Praveen took the fitness test immediately on his returnfrom England, where he had gone last week to consult Dr AndrewWallace, a London-based surgeon who has treated many Indianplayers including Sachin Tendulkar, on his injured rightelbow.

Though there was no official word yet from the BCCI onPraveen, the development has indicated that the fast bowler''sdream of playing in his maiden World Cup appears to be over.

The pacer had been undergoing rehabilitation at the NCAand in an earlier communication had said that the rehabprogramme was on right track.

India can ill-afford to go into the mega event with aninjury cloud over one of its squad members as key playersSachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir havesuffered injuries recently while the likes of Zaheer Khan andAshish Nehra have returned to full fitness.

The Board is likely to take a call on Praveen beforethe Indian team''s three-day conditioning camp at theChinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore starting February 9.

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