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Ashleigh Gardner

Injury concerns for Ashleigh Gardner ahead of T20I tri-series

Australia women news

Australia all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner's participation in the T20I tri-series against India and England is in doubt for the first match, after she suffered a concussion during practice on Sunday, 26 January.

While bowling in the nets, the 22-year-old had turned and was walking away when she was hit by the ball at the base of her head. Soon after, she showed symptoms of a concussion, and took no further part in the training session.

She also sat out of the team's warm-up match against Cricket Australia XI at the Sydney Showgrounds Stadium on Monday, 27 January.

"It’s not ideal, it was a little bit unlucky yesterday," Australia captain Meg Lanning said. "She wasn’t paying as much attention as she should have been, unfortunately, but she’s okay.

 "We’re just being precautionary with her and making sure she’s okay. There’s steps she’ll need to go through to be fit for Saturday."

The youngster has a history of concussions. In the 2017-18 WBBL season, she missed two matches for Sydney Sixers after being struck on her helmet by Perth Scorchers' Katherine Brunt. A similar blow caused her to miss an ODI during the 2017 Ashes series. In 2018, before the season-opening T20I against New Zealand, Gardner was again struck on the helmet during an intra-squad match but recovered for the game.

"For me personally, I get more of a delayed-onset form of concussion. So rather than actually feeling a bit woozy as soon as I get hit, it's more so the day after. I have really bad headaches (and feel) nauseous," Gardner had told ABC Grandstand last year.

We’re just being precautionary with her. There’s steps she’ll need to go through to be fit for Saturday.

Meg Lanning

"Out of the five that I've had, they've gotten worse every time. The longest I've had to recover was around two weeks, so it's just basically like having a constant headache and obviously you're restricted to what you can do," she added.

Australia play the opening match of the tri-series on Saturday, 1 February, against England. With the ICC Women's T20 World Cup just over three weeks away, the tri-series will be crucial in terms of match practice for all players. 

Along with Gardner, fast bowler Tayla Vlaeminck and all-rounder Erin Burns were also sidelined for Monday's warm-up game. Vlaeminck, who is recovering from a ACL strain she suffered last year, is expected to be available for Saturday's opening game while Burns is still recovering from a arthroscopic surgery to her knee.

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