Victorian Shield star Sutherland’s Ashes dream ruined by injury

Victoria’s star quick Will Sutherland has had to abandon a planned spell in the county championship with an injury that’s ended any hope of him being called up for the Ashes.

Sutherland, who on Wednesday won his first Bill Lawry Medal as Victoria’s Sheffield Shield player of the season, had been considered a potential Ashes bolter after his breakthrough season.

Will Sutherland has a stress fracture in his back.Credit:Getty Images

But Victoria have revealed the 23-year-old now faces “a period on the sidelines” after scans showed a stress fracture in his lower back.

Sutherland had signed up with county championship side Essex, who revealed their disappointment at having to end the deal.

“It’s disappointing for Will after a fantastic season,” Cricket Victoria’s head of men’s cricket, David Hussey, said in a statement.

“He had signed with Essex to go over and play in the county championship – but this news will keep him at home and working on his rest and rehabilitation programme for the next few months.

“He has put his name up in lights with some big performances through the summer and we want him to be ready for next season, so we’ll do everything we can to support him with his injury rehabilitation.”

Essex website head coach Anthony McGrath added: “It’s really unfortunate that Will has injured himself so close to the 2023 season.

“We were all looking forward to welcoming him to Chelmsford and we’re sorry to hear he will face a period of time recovering from his stress fracture.

“Everyone at the club wishes Will a speedy recovery and we hope to see him back on the pitch soon.”

It is a huge anti-climax for Sutherland, who’d acted as Victoria’s stand-in captain and was their leading wicket-taker in the Shield with 41 wickets during their run to the final.

Playing through the pain barrier in the showdown with Western Australia, he’d still shone in the final, taking a five-for and then hitting 83 in 84 balls in their eventual loss.

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