Perth’s bid to win a third straight BBL crown has suffered a huge blow after captain Ashton Turner was ruled out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury.
Turner re-injured his right knee while bowling his first delivery of the night during the Scorchers’ nine-wicket win over the Hobart Hurricanes on Wednesday.
Subsequent scans revealed he had torn the meniscus and underwent surgery on Friday morning.
The Scorchers are unsure when Turner will be able to return to cricketing duties, but they’ve already ruled him out for the remainder of the BBL campaign.
The 30-year-old’s absence is a huge blow to Perth, given his important middle-order batting and invaluable leadership skills.
Turner’s hot form last season led to calls for him to be named Australia’s T20 captain following Aaron Finch’s resignation.
But a knee injury curtailed Turner during the off-season, with the complaint also grounding him for a Sheffield Shield match earlier this season.
It also prevented him from joining up with the Australian squad for the T20 series in India following the ODI World Cup.
The innocuous way in which Turner re-injured his knee on Wednesday raised major concerns about just how bad the setback was.
Scans the next day showed the extent of the damage.
Perth say they will name a stand-in skipper ahead of the Boxing Day clash with the Melbourne Renegades at Optus Stadium, with vice-captain Josh Inglis a strong candidate.
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Allrounder Aaron Hardie helped fill the leadership void against the Hurricanes after Turner limped off the field.
Import Stephen Eskinazi and last season’s grand final hero Nick Hobson are the leading contenders to replace Turner in the XI.
The Scorchers are second on the ladder after starting their season with two wins and a no-result from their first three games.