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   Jan 14

James Pattinson forced to pull out of Prime Minister’s XI due to foot infection

James Pattinson is on the comeback trail from injury and is one of the best bowlers in . Photo Jay Cronan Photo: Jay CronanThe James Pattinson injury curse has struck again.
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Luckless n fast-bowler Pattinson has taken another injury hit and been forced to withdraw from the Prime Minister’s XI clash against Sri Lanka at Manuka Oval.

In a blow to one of the fixture’s marquee men, Pattinson has an infection in his left foot and will be replaced by NSW bowler Harry Conway.

Pattinson joins former n one-day international captain George Bailey on the high-profile withdrawal list for a match that doubles as Adam Voges’ farewell to international cricket.

It’s a fresh injury blow for Pattinson, who has been taking a long and slow road back to the top level as back, shin and hamstring injuries delayed his career.

The Victorian quick took 5-27 on debut for in 2011, claiming 70 scalps in 17 matches. But injuries have forced him to miss 40 Tests and he’s taken another hit in the PM’s XI match.

Pattinson concedes he has to prove himself again, but has put his faith in the selection process.

“I wanted to get a fair bit of first class cricket in before I play any Test cricket again,” Pattinson said.

“Obviously [I want to] try and put on some performances for the selectors to pick me. It’s about all the process.

“It’s been frustrating, but hopefully now I can just keep getting more cricket, and keep playing, getting that continuity and consistency into my game which I’ve obviously lacked over the last two or three years.

“Hopefully that can happen and take it game by game, and hopefully play a few more games.”

Pattinson was in Canberra on Tuesday and will watch the reformatted PM’s XI, which will be played as a Twenty20 match for the first time.

An ACT XI will play against Papua New Guinea in a curtain-raiser and Cricket ACT general manager of high performance Aiden Blizzard wants Canberra players to use it as a career launching pad.

“We’re really excited. I think it’s a great opportunity for the boys to get some experience against an international team, but also to kick off what an event it will be here at Manuka Oval for the PM’s XI,” Blizzard said.

“[Twenty20] cricket is going gangbusters at the moment, particularly the BBL so it’s a really good opportunity. Number one for our boys to get some experience, but number two to put their hand up and really work hard to get a BBL opportunity.”

Despite a long list of n players being unavailable for the PM’s XI match and three withdrawals, there is no Canberra player in the marquee match.

“Ideally we would have a Canberra guy in the XI, however we’re really happy with Matt Gilkes getting the opportunity to be 12th man,” Blizzard said.

“In an ideal world, yes [we’d like one in PM’s XI], but we’re really proud of being able to host this time and time again, and to be able to give players exposure to international teams and to push their case for the next level.”

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