Spartan Andre Russell will miss the remainder of the Big Bash League after suffering a high-grade hamstring tear in the Sydney Thunder’s victory over the Melbourne Stars.
Russell was visibly in extreme pain and needed to be escorted from the field after pulling up short when chasing a ball to the boundary during the Stars’ innings.
He underwent scans on the injury in Sydney today and is expected to be out of action for up to six weeks.
It is a cruel end to a BBL campaign which has been hampered by an ongoing knee injury.
The West Indies all-rounder was scheduled to cut his BBL season short following last night’s game to head home and undergo treatment for the knee injury.
“I am very disappointed to be heading home early as I love being here in Australia and playing in the Big Bash for the Sydney Thunder,” Russell said.
“My time here was very good. I gave it my best shot. For most of the tournament I was running and bowling fast pretty much on one leg.”
“I am upset that I have had to end my stay here in an unusual manner. But it has been good for me to read the comments from the fans on social media, on Instagram and Twitter, people have been making mention of my bravery and commitment and toughness and it has inspired me. I am grateful that they have seen that and made mention that I have given my all for my team.”
“I think they appreciate what I have done for the game and what I am doing for cricket. Quite often when someone is going through pain they will leave the field and say I can’t go on any more. But I have actually gone off, strapped up my leg and I have come back on to finish my spell. I haven’t been able to perform at my best but I have given my absolute all for my team.”
Russell came into the Big Bash season as the most successful T20 franchise player anywhere in the world in 2016, having won titles in Australia, Pakistan, the Caribbean, Bangladesh and with the West Indies at the World Cup.
He made an instant impact in this season’s Big Bash tournament when he walked out to bat in the Thunder’s opening game using a black S6R DreRuss bat.
After being approved for use by Cricket Australia, Big Bash league officials conducted further testing on the bat prior to it being used against the Brisbane Heat.
“It was crazy. It was in all the papers everywhere I looked. Front page. The back page. Several days in a row. There was a lot of pressure on me, but it was just a bat. It was just a different colour and I am proud to have been part of that initiative and innovation,” Russell said.
“There was some misunderstanding about the bat but getting it fully approved for use was the result of an amazing job by the guys at Spartan. It just goes to show that when they want something done, they get it done.”
“Well done to Cricket Australia as well for actually taking time to come and see for themselves. They watched me hit some balls and saw that it was all okay.”
“I really appreciate that from the bottom of my heart because they could have simply said no and that would be it, but they actually made the time and listened to me. In the end, just like I am and just like Spartan is, Cricket Australia is all about fun and excitement so it was a good outcome for me and all involved.”
Russell will return to the Caribbean this week. He is being replaced at the Thunder by his West Indies teammate Carlos Brathwaite.