AFP/Leeds, United Kingdom
England all-rounder Ben Stokes said on Monday he would miss the rest of the Sri Lanka series because of a knee injury.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had previously announced that Stokes had been ruled out of the second Test at his Durham home ground starting on Friday after he limped off with a left knee injury during England’s innings and 88-run in the first of a three-match series at Headingley last week.
Stokes updated his Twitter followers late on Monday and suggested he had aggravated a longstanding injury problem. “Devastated to be missing the rest of the series,this has been a ongoing issue for 2/3 years which I’ve managed to play through until now,” he said.
“All the best to the lads in the rest of the series,see you down at @DurhamCricket in the crowd.”
The 24-year-old saw a specialist yesterday and underwent a surgery to address a cartilage tear in his left knee. He could be out of action for as long as six weeks. That would see Stokes miss both the final two Tests against Sri Lanka and the subsequent five-match one-day international series with the islanders starting on June 21. And with England also facing Pakistan in a four-Test series that gets underway at Lord’s in July, team management will be wary of rushing key player Stokes back into the side.
Stokes has been replaced in England’s 12-man squad by Warwickshire all-rounder Chris Woakes, who took a career-best nine for 36 against Durham at Edgbaston on Monday. Woakes is now in the hunt for a seventh Test cap.
His last appearance came against South Africa at Centurion in January, a match where England lost but won the series. He will compete for a place in England’s X1 against uncapped Nottinghamshire quick Jake Ball, in the squad at Headingley.
Another England bowler, Reece Topley, who broke his hand batting in his first game for Hampshire in April, has suffered a new injury setback. “Reece Topley has been diagnosed with a partial stress fracture of the lumbar spine and will require a significant period of rehabilitation,” the England and Wales cricket Board said on its website.
“He will miss the next three months and will aim for a return with Hampshire by the end of the season.”
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka have confirmed that Kusal Perera will be joining their squad. Perera was cleared to play again two weeks ago after the International Cricket Council lifted a provisional doping ban and all associated charges against him following concerns over the reliability of the drug test carried out by a World Anti-Doping Agency accredited laboratory in Qatar.
The wicket-keeper/batsman’s arrival, possibly in time for the second Test, will change the balance of Sri Lanka’s squad as he is replacing injured paceman Dhammika Prasad, who has returned home with a shoulder injury.
“Kusal will join the team as soon as possible and acclimatise, so he can do some serious work with the bat,” Sri Lanka chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya told Cricinfo.
England squad for 2nd Test
Alastair Cook (Essex) (capt), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire, wkt), Jake Ball (Nottinghamshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Nick Compton (Middlesex), Steven Finn (Middlesex), Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire), Joe Root (Yorkshire), James Vince (Hampshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)
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