LONDON: England bowlers James Anderson and Mark Wood have been ruled out of next month’s tour of Bangladesh due to injury, the England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed on Thursday.
Anderson, England’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker, has not played since the fourth Test loss to Pakistan in August because of a shoulder injury.
Durham seamer Wood, 26, has been having treatment for an ankle injury.
England play three one-day internationals and two Tests on the tour, for which they leave on Thursday.
Nottinghamshire’s Jake Ball, originally named in just the ODI squad for Bangladesh, has now been given the nod to stay on for the second half of the tour.
Middlesex’s Steven Finn has been added to the ODI squad and England’s selectors will consider a further replacement for the Test squad at a later date.
The first Test begins in Chittagong on October 20, with England having two two-day warm-up games ahead of the match.
The opening Test of the India tour is due to begin in Rajkot on November 9.
An ECB statement confirming that Anderson and Wood would miss the Bangladesh tour said Thursday: “Anderson has been withdrawn from the Test squad due to an ongoing injury to his right shoulder. He requires more time to ensure optimal healing of a stress fracture he sustained during the summer.
“Durham seamer Wood has had a recurrence of left ankle symptoms. Both players will be reviewed by the ECB’s medical team on a regular basis and further updates will be provided on their progress in due course.
“Middlesex’s Steven Finn is added to the ODI squad. Nottinghamshire’s Jake Ball is added to the Test squad and selectors will consider a further replacement for the Test squad at a later date.”
Stand-in one-day captain Jos Buttler, deputising after Eoin Morgan opted out of the Bangladesh tour on security ground, told Sky Sports on Thursday: “It’s a worry for the two guys, it’s immensely frustrating for them.
“Mark has been struggling with a few injuries and we all know what a talent he is and how vital he is to England to be on the park. It will be a big loss for us.
“James Anderson is obviously the premier fast bowler in English cricket.
“Fingers crossed those two can get back on the park as soon as possible.”
Anderson’s injury saw him miss the first Test against Pakistan at Lord’s in July. He went on to play in the rest of the four-Test series, which ended in a 2-2 draw, but has not featured since.
The 34-year-old, England’s leading Test wicket-taker with 463 wickets in 119 matches, will now try to prove his fitness in time for the five-Test series against India, which starts in November.
England’s tour of Bangladesh was called into question after an attack on a cafe in Dhaka in July which saw 20 hostages killed, including 18 foreigners.
However, the ECB gave the tour the go-ahead after an inspection visit to Bangladesh led by team security chief Reg Dickason, although that didn’t stop Morgan and opening batsman Alex Hales opting out.
“I’m very much a stand-in for Eoin Morgan, he’s very much the captain,” said Buttler.
“I’m probably calm but authoritative (as a captain). The big thing for me is to be genuine and not try to be someone I am not.
“I view the game in a similar way to Eoin Morgan: I’ll try and be aggressive and I’ll ask the guys to play in the same way that we have been for 18 months because that has been successful for us.” – AFP