Strange crash rules out of Fox New Zealand Test Series – Newspaper

LONDON: Sam Billings was included in England’s squad for the two-Test series against New Zealand on Wednesday after Ben Foakes suffered a torn hamstring due to a freak accident.

Fox was due to play his first home Test – all eight previous Tests have been abroad – but a sock is believed to have torn his left hamstring when he slipped in the Surrey dressing room on Sunday.

The 28-year-old is being sidelined for the New Zealand series with all-rounder Ben Stokes and pacer Jofra Archer starting next Wednesday at Lord’s.

Archer, who struggled with an elbow problem, suffered a similar accident earlier this year when his fish tank broke during cleaning and a piece of glass was stuck in a finger.

Fox could face three months leading to doubts over their availability for the five Test series with India in August.

“The Foxes were injured after slipping into the dressing room on Sunday after Surrey’s county championship match against Middlesex at Kia Oval,” an England Wales Cricket Board (ECB) statement said. “He will now be assessed and worked closely with the Surrey medical team on his rehabilitation and is expected to be out of action for at least three months.

“England head coach Chris Silverwood calls Kent wicketkeeper / batsman Sam Billings and Nottinghamshire top-order batsman Hasib Hameed.”

Billings, an established member of England’s white-ball squad, has not yet been limited at Test level and is likely to be in reserve alongside James Bracey.

Hameed, who has been in impressive form during the 2021 county season, has scored 474 runs at an average of 52.66, last playing Test cricket in November 2016.

The 24-year-old opener, nicknamed ‘Baby Boycott’ by teammates, won his three Test caps against India during the 2016 winter tour of England.

Published in Dawn, May 27, 2021

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