Saturday, July 23rd, 2016

Clarke Ruled Out Of Final Two Lions Matches Through Injury

Worcestershire batsman Joe Clarke has been ruled out of the final two matches of the England Lions Tri-Series with Sri Lanka 'A' and Pakistan 'A' through injury.

The 20-year-old suffered a side injury during the pre-match warm-up after rejoining Worcestershire for last night's NatWest T20 Blast match with Derbyshire at the 3aaa County Ground.

Clarke had played in the opening two matches of the series, scoring 37 and five against Pakistan 'A' and Sri Lanka respectively.

It is the second time Clarke has suffered an injury setback after being part of the Lions squad.

Last December he picked up a thigh strain after the opening T20 match against Pakistan 'A' in the UAE and missed the remaining four games of the series.

Clarke did, however, recover to play in four of the five 50 over matches against the same opposition after  Christmas.

He said: "I felt a pain in my side when I was warming up at Derby. The physio (Ben Davies) knew straight away that would be me out of the last two Lions games as well. But looking on the brighter side, hopefully I won’t be out too long."

Clarke's county team-mate, Brett D'Oliveira, remains a member of the squad and will be hoping for the opportunity to make his Lions debut.

The Lions have added the young Hampshire batsman Tom Alsop to their squad for the last two matches of the Tri-Series against Pakistan A and Sri Lanka A at Canterbury.

Alsop, a 20-year-old left-hander opened for England Under-19s last summer and has played regularly in Hampshire’s first team this season.

“It’s a real shame for Joe, who has impressed the Lions management during the first half of the series as he did in Dubai in the winter,” said James Whitaker, the National Selector.

“But that has given us the opportunity to call another talented young player into the squad in Tom Alsop.

“We do have other options in the squad originally selected for the Lions, but we felt this was a good chance to give Tom a taste of the Lions set-up, and for our elite coaches to have a closer look at him. He has done well in all forms of cricket for Hampshire this season especially in 50-over cricket in the Royal London One-Day Cup."

The Lions won their first two matches of the Tri-Series in Cheltenham and Northampton last week, meaning they could secure top spot with a second victory against Pakistan 'A' before they play Sri Lanka 'A' at the same venue in the last match of the series on Monday.

Revised Lions squad: Malan (capt), Billings (wk), Bell-Drummond, Duckett, Dawson, Livingstone, D’Oliveira, Alsop, S Curran, T Curran, Roland-Jones, Wood, Garton, Mahmood.