Cummins Ashes return unlikely

Australia

Fast bowler Pat Cummins has all but been ruled out of Australia's home Ashes campaign later this year due to a back injury.

Fast bowler Pat Cummins has all but been ruled out of Australia's home Ashes campaign later this year due to a back injury.

Cummins, who has not played international cricket in 10 months, had been named in the A squad for the series in South Africa. However, the injury soon recurred.

"Pat returned home early from the Australia A tour of Africa with some side and back soreness, and scans have shown a partial recurrence of his lower back bone stress injury," said Cricket Australia chief medical officer Justin Paoloni.

"He will be closely monitored to determine his return to the playing field, but we expect that he will miss most of the 2013-14 cricket season."

The veteran Brad Haddin, meanwhile, will secure the most dismissals by an Australian wicketkeeper in a series – if he clinches four catches or stumpings during the fifth and final Test, which will get underway at The Oval in London on Wednesday.

Haddin has taken 25 catches in the series so far, with three more required to surpass the 27 achieved by the stalwart Ian Healy in 1997 and four more to better the 28 accrued by the experienced Rod Marsh in 1983.

"I wasn't aware of that record at all. I'd take that back for a win. You don't play for them. When they come along it's a nice achievement but I'd take a few wins over that," added Haddin.

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