Mon. May 23rd, 2022

You may be forgiven for seeing the words ‘England cricket international’ and running as far away as possible. But no sooner has the Ashes shambles ended than another series is getting under way.

Fear not, this is a Twenty20 battle against West Indies, and despite the World Cup semi-final exit this England side are still ranked No.1 in the world and very much the team to beat. 

Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood are all unavailable having played in Australia, while Sam and Tom Curran are both missing through injury. England are still without Jofra Archer, although the 26-year-old is in Barbados to continue rehab after elbow surgery.

Following the last-four defeat to New Zealand in the UAE Jason Roy and left-arm quick Tymal Mills are available – both were injured during the World Cup two months ago. 

Today sees the start of the next T20 World Cup cycle with the Ashes absentees creating opportunities for those who have been on the periphery of squads in recent years.

Liam Livingstone will miss out because of an illness not related to Covid but Sam Billings is in contention. It was initially thought he would be unavailable for this weekend’s double-header after answering England’s SOS for the last Ashes Test but the early finish in Hobart has allowed him to get to the Caribbean with time to spare.

George Garton could make his international bow after being one of a number of this 17-strong largely inexperienced England squad to cut short stints in the Big Bash – which Morgan insisted was the right approach.

When it was put to England’s limited-overs captain that playing in the Big Bash might represent better preparation with the T20 World Cup in mind, Eoin Morgan replied: “This takes guys out of their comfort zone a lot more.

“Unless they play in finals or games that go to the wire in the Big Bash, (then) I would agree with you but not many have been close games.

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Wizadclick | WAC MAG 2022