Saturday, February 11th, 2017

Clarke To Have Lions Fitness Test On Wrist Problem

Clarke To Have Lions Fitness Test On Wrist Problem

Joe Clarke will have a late fitness test ahead of England Lions three-day warm-up match against a Sri Lanka Board President's X1 in Moratuwa which starts tomorrow(Sunday).

The Worcestershire batsman, who is starting his fourth spell of action with the Lions, is suffering a from a wrist problem.

Clarke is the back-up wicket-keeper in the squad to Surrey's Ben Foakes who is struggling with a back injury.

If the pair are both ruled out, then Hampshire batsman Tom Alsop is set to deputise behind the stumps.

Clarke will be hoping it is only a minor setback as two of his previous three stints with the Lions have been curtailed through injury – in the UAE v Pakistan 'A' last winter and then the Tri-Series with Pakistan 'A' and Sri Lanka 'A' last summer.

It is the Lions only game before the two four-day fixtures against Sri Lanka 'A' in Kandy and Dambulla respectively. 

The three-day match will not have first class status to allow Lions coach Andy Flower to give some time in the middle to all members of the squad.

Haseeb Hameed will make his Lions debut against the President's X1 more than two months after his exciting introduction to Test cricket was cut short by a broken finger.

The Lancashire opener has now recovered from the injury he sustained in Mohali in late November – when he defied the pain to hit an unbeaten 59 in the second innings, giving him 219 runs at a healthy average of almost 44 in his first, brief taste of the international game.

Hameed is set to open for the first time with Keaton Jennings, who took his place as Alastair Cook’s opening partner for the remaining two Tests of the series in India.

Jennings skippered the Lions in two List A matches against the United Arab Emirates before his senior call-up last November.

Clarke played alongside Hameed and Alsop on England Under-19 duty against South Africa in 2014.

England Lions squads For red-ball section, including four-day matches v Sri Lanka A: K Jennings (Durham, capt), H Hameed (Lancashire), N Gubbins (Middlesex), T Alsop (Hampshire), T Westley (Essex), J Clarke (Worcestershire), L Livingstone (Lancashire), B Foakes (Surrey), S Curran (Surrey), T Curran (Surrey), T Roland-Jones (Middlesex), T Helm (Middlesex), C Overton (Somerset), O Rayner (Middlesex), J Leach (Somerset).

For 50-over series v Sri Lanka A: K Jennings (Durham, capt), D Bell-Drummond (Kent), T Alsop (Hampshire), B Duckett (Northamptonshire), J Clarke (Worcestershire), L Livingstone (Lancashire), B Foakes (Surrey), S Curran (Surrey), T Curran (Surrey), C Overton (Somerset), T Helm (Middlesex), J Fuller (Middlesex), O Rayner (Middlesex), J Poysden (Warwickshire), G White (Northamptonshire), M Wood (Durham).

Schedule Sri Lanka A v England Lions, four-day matches Feb 12-14: v Board President’s XI (Moratuwa) Feb 17-20: v Sri Lanka A (Pallekele) Feb 24-27: v Sri Lanka A (Dambulla).

Sri Lanka A v England Lions, one-day series March 2 – Dambulla March 4 – Dambulla March 6 – Kurunegala March 9 – Colombo March 11 – Colombo.