Star allrounder Glenn Maxwell could miss the rest of the summer and faces a lengthy rehabilitation after breaking his leg in a freak accident at a 50th birthday party in Melbourne this weekend.
The 34-year-old has been ruled out of next week’s ODI series against England and undergone surgery for a fracture of the left fibula after he and a friend became entangled while running across a backyard tennis court. When both slipped and fell, Maxwell’s leg becoming trapped under the other man’s and incurred the fracture.
Cricket Australia confirmed in a statement on Sunday afternoon that neither Maxwell or his friend were intoxicated at the time of the accident.
Maxwell’s most recent innings for Australia was his match-winning half-century in Australia’s final game of the failed T20 World Cup defence. After coming in with the score at 84/6 midway through the eleventh over, Maxwell helped lift his side to victory with an unbeaten 54* from 32 deliveries as wickets fell around him.
The injury comes at a terrible time for Maxwell, with his dormant Test career on the verge of being revived on next year’s tour of India. The big-hitting maverick known around the world as “The Big Show” served as the reserve batter on this year’s Test tour of Sri Lanka when Travis Head struggled and was widely believed on the brink of a sensational recall to the long-format game.
Although Maxwell is a legend of white-ball cricket, he has played only seven Tests across nine years. However, all seven of his Test matches have been in Asia and he is considered a subcontinent specialist and master of Indian spin bowling.
Maxwell’s most recent Test in 2017 confirmed his place among modern cricket’s most dynamic batsmen. He scored a sensational maiden Test century 104 against world No 1 team India in Ranchi, making him just the second Australian, and 13th player internationally, to complete a trifecta of centuries across all formats of the game.
Australia’s selectors had Maxwell primed to play his first long-form matches in more than three years ahead of the Big Bash League. Maxwell last played four and five-day cricket at the start of the 2019-20 season before taking a mental health break.
After Australia’s ODI series against England, there was a small window in which Maxwell might’ve played in a Sheffield Shield game for Victoria against New South Wales on December 1, and also for Australia A against South Africa a week later.
But the dream of dusting off his baggy green cap is now, with his broken leg, on ice
“Glenn is in good spirits It was an unfortunate accident and we feel for Glenn in the circumstances given he was in great touch in his last few games,” Australia’s selection chief George Bailey said. “Glenn is a critical part of our white ball structure and we will continue to support him through his recovery and rehabilitation.”
Sean Abbott has replaced Maxwell in the squad for the ODI series.
With Maxwell injured, Bailey flagged that the squad for India would likely look considerably different to the 13-player group unveiled on Tuesday to face West Indies in two Tests in Perth and Adelaide. A similar squad can expect to face South Africa.