Southern Brave fans, look away now.
Tymal Mills will miss the rest of the Hundred through injury.
This is the latest development in a career that has always promised so much, but you feel has always been held back by injury.
After claiming a richly deserved spot in last years world cup squad, Mills’ sustained a thigh injury against Sri Lanka which ruled him out of the rest of the tournament.
A toe injury then ruled him out of all but one of England games this summer.
Since the start of this years’ Hundred, his toe injury has flared up once more, and has now undergone surgery in the hope he will be fit for selection before the upcoming world cup.
This comes as devastating news to the Brave, who are already contending with a lack of fast bowlers due to wide-spread injury.
And with Mills’ news adding insult to injury, a successful defence of their title seeming ever more unlikely with each passing game.
A Very English Problem
If Mills’ injury is bad news for the Brave, then consider the news positively apocalyptic for the England team.
In an era that seems to be defined by the fragility of England’s pacers, this is such an untimely setback for England’s T20 set up.
If England are to triumph in X, you have to think that Mills will be on the field and firing.
He provides an unknown X-Factor to the bowling line up, giving England some much needed security and wicket taking potential at the death.
Indeed, you have to imagine what might have been possible at the last world cup had Mills not got injured.
Of course, Mills hopes to be fit. You have to wonder, though, that if one Hundred game causes a flare up, if he’ll manage to make it through an entire world cup.
The Last Thing England Needs
The build-up to any big tournament is always a defining factor in a team’s chances of victory.
To put it politely, England’s run to the world cup so far has been rather bumpy.
We’ve already spoken about injuries, but perhaps more noteworthy is the the fact England’s best players will be juggling multiple formats.
Take Ben Stokes, will he be able to perform to his full potential now that he is test captain?
Serious questions remain about form, leaving the threat of changing batting orders and confused roles in the air. To name one, Jason Roy has now 3 ducks in 4 innings. Is he still destined to open the batting at the world cup?
More fundamentally than all of this, though, is Eoin Morgan’s unexpected (dare I say unwanted?) departure.
A new captain can offer a fresh start, as we’ve seen with Stokes in the test arena, but losing one of the best white-ball captains the game has seen will take its toll.
Jos Buttler’s England will have a hell of a job winning the world cup.
It’s by no means impossible, such is the beauty of T20 cricket, but Mills’ injury adds yet another layer of doubt to an already confused picture.
For now, all England can do is hope Mills; will be fir and ready to go come November…