Lancashire are “keeping everything crossed” that India’s Shreyas Iyer can make a quick recovery from the shoulder injury he picked up in the first one-day international against England.
Iyer now needs surgery after a partial dislocation of his left shoulder.
The 26-year-old batsman is not due to report for Lancashire duty until July, when he has been signed up for an eight-game One-Day Cup deal.
“We’ll reassess when he’s had the op,” said director of cricket Paul Allott.
“He’s damaged his left shoulder and he’s now going to have an operation in the next week or so,” he told BBC Radio Lancashire.
“When that has taken place, we’ll reassess and have a much clearer idea of where he’s going to be fitness wise. But everybody’s got their fingers crossed that he’ll be available for us.”
‘To get in an Indian player was an ambition’
Iyer has played 22 ODIs, scoring 813 runs at an average of 42.78.
“It was a big moment for us to get permission from the BCCI (Indian Cricket Board) for him to come over here and play white-ball cricket in the first place,” added Allott. “A bit of a departure for Indian cricket.
“We’ve been very keen to extend our link with Indian cricket.
“We’ve been out to Mumbai for a pre-season trip and would have gone again this year had we been allowed.
“To get one of India’s top players in was an ambition over the winter.
“We did not shout from the rooftops about it as we knew it would be difficult but it might have been an eye opener for other counties, from what I’m hearing.”
Lancashire also led the way when the first major influx of star overseas signings began to come to England in the late 1960s, when India’s Test wicketkeeper Farokh Engineer came to Old Trafford in 1968, to follow the Nawab of Pataudi’s long association with Sussex.
Allott says they would consider a replacement for Iyer – but that is still a long way off proper consideration yet.
“We’ve already made one or two inquiries,” he said. “But we’ll wait and see how Shreyas lyer looks before we do anything.”
Paul Allott was talking to BBC Radio Lancashire’s Scott Read.