England bowler Mark Wood heading back to UK for specialist treatment on ankle

Published: Thursday 5th November 2015 by The News Editor

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England bowler Mark Wood will miss the one-day international and Twenty20 series against Pakistan after returning home for treatment on his left ankle.

The Durham paceman missed the third and final Test in the United Arab Emirates, which England lost by 127 runs as Pakistan took the series 2-0.

He will now visit a specialist back in England and has been replaced in the limited-overs squads by Yorkshire’s Liam Plunkett.

National selector James Whitaker said: “Mark Wood’s ankle condition is well known and while we have managed his workloads over the summer and during the Test series against Pakistan, it has been decided that the sensible course of action is to seek further advice from a specialist.

“Liam Plunkett will replace Wood in both squads and, having featured in the ODI side last summer, his inclusion provides Eoin Morgan and Trevor Bayliss with an experienced pace bowling option in the squad.”

Beyond the Pakistan series, England will be concerned about how Wood’s injury leaves their seam bowling stocks for the Test tour of South Africa which begins in December.

His county colleague Ben Stokes suffered an injury to his collarbone during the third Test in Sharjah and, though he came out to bat at number 10 in England’s second innings, which captain Alastair Cook described as “a really good sign”, he was unable to bowl and remains a doubt.

Cook said: “We were really worried in that first 24 hours after he went off. We told him he shouldn’t bat because he could do some more damage. But there were a couple of expletives here and there and he had his pads on, his shoulder strapped and he went out there and batted.

“Fingers crossed the last three days he’s improved well. We’ll have to work hard on him because he’s a key part of this side as one of those four seamers.

“If we bowl anything like we did here in South Africa we know we can do well.”

England’s spinners failed to match up to their Pakistan counterparts across three Tests in the UAE and, were Stokes and Wood to miss out, a weakened pace attack would be a concern as England go up against South Africa’s fearsome battery of Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel.

The limited-overs leg of the current tour begins on Sunday with a one-day game against Hong Kong, followed by four ODIs and three T20s against Pakistan separated by a tour match against the United Arab Emirates.

Published: Thursday 5th November 2015 by The News Editor

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