England fast bowler Jofra Archer has been ruled out of next month’s three-match Twenty20 series against South Africa due to soreness to his right elbow, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said on Wednesday.
Archer sustained the troublesome elbow injury following England’s opening test against South Africa last month, and missed the final three matches of the series which Joe Root’s side won 3-1.
The 24-year-old was rested for the three-match one-day series against South Africa but his absence from the shortest format is a blow to the England camp as they prepare for the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.
Archer will be replaced in the T20 squad by Lancashire seamer Saqib Mahmood, who will remain in South Africa after the ODI series starting on Feb. 4 in Cape Town.
The T20 series begins on 12 February at Buffalo Park in East London.
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The southern coastal city of Galle has seen several days of wet weather and more is predicted for the first of the two Tests, leaving the tourists wondering whether to use more pace on the usually spin friendly wicket.
England captain Joe Root will have no qualms about bowling his off-breaks during an upcoming two-Test series in Sri Lanka where the pitches are expected to provide plenty of turn for spin bowlers.
Root’s 228 had provided England a strong total of 421 and a meaningful first innings lead of 286, but Thirimanne stood firm for two sessions to remain unbeaten on 76 off 189 balls and carried Sri Lanka to 156-2 at stumps.