McLaren admits defeat in Twenty20 Cup finals day fitness race

Friday 14th August 2009

Ryan McLaren will miss the Edbaston showdown with a sidestrain

By Mark Pennell

KENT“S cup final hat-trick hero from 2007, Ryan McLaren, has admitted defeat in his fitness race to play in today“s Twenty20 Cup finals day at Edgbaston.
The South African all-rounder, the man of the match here against Gloucestershire two seasons ago, suffered a side strain during Kent“s clash with Derbyshire earlier in the month and was unable to take his place in the Spitfires side today competing in the second city.
A disappointed McLaren said: “I was hoping right up until last night that things might improve, but I pretty much knew toward the middle of the week that this was going to come too quickly for me.
“I spoke to the radiologist last week and my injury was pretty similar to that of Brett Lee“s, I spoke to Brett yesterday and he told me it was four weeks before he felt truly comfortable bowling again.
“I have to be honest and tell you it“s very frustrating and hugely disappointing to miss out.”
The Kent squad held a half-hour team meeting in the Edgbaston dressing rooms soon after their arrival at the Test ground after noon, from which skipper Rob Key emerged to say that the side were in good spirits after their championship win over Northamptonshire on Friday.
“Everyone“s been playing a hell of a lot of cricket so today has crept up on us in a way. You go from code to code and hope you can make the switch well.
“We have a lot of guys in form after that win at Wantage Road and that should be a bonus here today.
“We“d had a poor game against Middlesex before that, so to win at Northampton with a depleted bowling attack was just what we needed.”
He added: “We“ll have to wait and see how the pitch looks before naming our side but on first impressions it seems similar to 2007, that wasn“t an easy surface and 130 was almost a par score. There was no such thing as a regulation chase down that day, so we will just have to think on our feet out in the middle.”
Ahead of their semi-final clash with Somerset at 3pm Key will face a selection dilemma over who should fill the berth vacated by the injured McLaren. His options will be to play an extra seamer in Amjad Khan or, on a slightly damp surface that appears to be helping spin, go with left-arm spinner Rob Ferley.

Photo by ARPics