Australia Pulls Ponting From Game Before First Test; Cummins Out

Australia batsman Ricky Ponting was withdrawn from a domestic match because of a hamstring injury seven days before the national team opens its Test series against top-ranked South Africa.

Ponting, 37, was pulled from the Sheffield Shield match between Tasmania and South Australia today as a precaution after “developing some hamstring soreness during the game,” Cricket Australia said today.

“If this wasn’t a week out from the first Test then Ricky would continue with the match, but we don’t want to take that risk,” Pat Howard, Cricket Australia’s general manager of team performance, said in an e-mailed statement. “We expect Ricky to be fit for the first Test against South Africa.”

The first of three matches between the teams starts Nov. 9 in Brisbane before the series moves to Adelaide then Perth.

Teenage fast bowler Pat Cummins, meantime, will probably miss the majority of the 2012-13 season after being diagnosed with a bone stress injury in his back, Cricket Australia said.

Australia selectors said last week they hoped Cummins, who took seven wickets in his Test debut for Australia against South Africa 12 months ago, would be available for the third Test against the Proteas at the WACA ground.

“We expect he will recover fully from this injury and will be closely monitored to determine his return to the playing field,” Australian team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said in a seperate statement. “We expect that he will miss most of the 2012-13 domestic cricket season.”

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dan Baynes at dbaynes@bloomberg.net

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