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Injured Gillespie pulls out
- Nathan Bracken, Brad Williams, Ashley Noffke among possible replacements

Centurion: Australia suffered their second major World Cup blow on Wednesday when fast bowler Jason Gillespie announced his withdrawal from the tournament because of injury.

Gillespie had a scan on his right heel on Tuesday after missing the world championsí last two Group A games.

ďIím shattered and disappointed but these things happen,Ē he told reporters. ďItís very disappointing itís happened to me but Iíll be okay. Iím lucky itís not too serious, thatís a positive.Ē

Gillespie has strained the tendon that runs along the Achilles tendon.

Nathan Bracken, Brad Williams and Ashley Noffke are among possible replacements for Gillespie.

ďItís a load-bearing part of my body, especially being a fast bowler it takes a lot of weight,Ē he said. ďBut on a positive note Iím relieved itís not my Achilles. That could have been a lot more dangerous.

ďInjuries are just part and parcel of being a fast bowler. Iíve had my fair share.Ē

It is Gillespieís second World Cup disappointment after he was forced to miss the 1999 tournament in England when Australia lifted the trophy.

A key member of the teamís pace attack, he underwent the scan when the injury failed to respond to treatment.

Gillespieís injury was initially considered minor but when he tried to bowl before the England game on Sunday in Port Elizabeth it flared up again.

He first felt discomfort last Wednesday before the Group A match against Namibia.

The 27-year-old right-arm fast bowler took eight World Cup wickets at an average of 12.25, including a hugely impressive ten-over spell of three for 13 against India. Generating good pace from a short run-up, Gillespie can move the ball both ways off the seam.

His misfortune is likely to pave the way for Andy Bichel to claim a regular place in the line-up. In Gillespieís absence, Bichel took seven for 20, the second best figures in World Cup history, against England on Sunday.

Gillespieís career has been repeatedly stalled by injuries, most spectacularly when he collided with Steve Waugh while fielding in 1999 and breaking his leg. He flew later on Wednesday and said he hoped to be back bowling in about four weeks.

ďIíd like to think Iíll be able to out myself in front of the selectors for the West Indies tour,Ē he said.

Australia, unbeaten in the opening phase of the tournament, play Sri Lanka on Friday in the first Super Sixes match.

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