Glenn Maxwell. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/LEE WARREN
Glenn Maxwell. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/LEE WARREN

Glenn Maxwell’s hopes of returning to international cricket were dashed on Wednesday when it was announced the big-hitting batsman will miss Australia’s forthcoming tour to SA through injury.

Maxwell, who stepped back from Australia duties in October saying he needed a break to deal with mental health issues, had been named in the one-day and Twenty20 squads to face the Proteas from February 22.

Maxwell will have arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow on Thursday to fix loose fragments of bone. He is expected to be out for between six and eight weeks.

“Representing Australia is the highest honour in cricket and something I cherish,” Maxwell said. “I was not confident that I could perform at international level with my elbow in its current state and have decided to undergo surgery straight away to fix the issue.”

Cricket Australia announced he will be replaced by D’Arcy Short in both formats.

Maxwell had been picked after blistering form with the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League, where he has scored 398 runs at an average of 39.80.

The 31-year-old has played 110 one-dayers and 61 Twenty20s for Australia.

Injured New Zealand pace bowlers Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson are “tracking nicely” as the side begin their preparations for the Test series against India, according to captain Kane Williamson.

Bowling spearhead Boult broke his hand in the second game against Australia in Melbourne while Ferguson bowled just 11 overs in his Test debut in the first match in Perth before breaking down with a calf strain.

Both missed the Twenty20 and one-day international series against India but Williamson said there were hopes they could be available for the first match against the world’s top ranked Test team that starts on February 21 in Wellington.

“They’re tracking nicely,” Williamson said after his side sealed a five-wicket win and 3-0 series sweep of the one-dayers against India in Mt Maunganui.

“It’s an exciting opportunity ... against one of the best sides in the world.”

The injuries to Boult and Ferguson and regular squad member Matt Henry, who broke his thumb in the third Test in Sydney, forced New Zealand to test the depth of their pace bowling stocks against India.

Hamish Bennett was recalled after almost three years in the international wilderness, while Kyle Jamieson, who was brought into the Test squad in Australia as cover but did not play, made his debut in the one-day series.

Bennett took the most wickets for New Zealand in the one-dayers and was joint top wicket taker in the Twenty20 matches with leg-spinner Ish Sodhi.

AFP, Reuters