Blow for hosts as quick Vlaeminck ruled out of T20 World Cup

SYDNEY: Hosts and defending champions Australia received a blow on the eve of the opening match of the Women's Twenty20 World Cup when pace bowler Tayla Vlaeminck was ruled out of the tournament with a foot injury on Thursday.

Vlaeminck was a likely starter for Friday's Group A match against India at the Sydney Showgrounds until she succumbed to the stress injury in her right foot.

She would be replaced in the squad by off-spinner Molly Strano, Cricket Australia said. "Tayla has been in brilliant form of late and established herself as one of the premier fast bowlers in international cricket," coach Matthew Mott said of the 21-year-old Victorian.

"No one ever wants to see a player miss a major tournament in these kinds of circumstances, but I have no doubt she will bounce back from this setback and play a leading role in Australian squads for many years to come."

Strano, 27, has taken seven wickets in five international T20s and comes into the squad off the back of a fine season in the Women's Big Bash League, where she was the leading wicket-taker with 24 at an average of 16.91.

The World Cup runs from Feb. 21 to March 8.