England- New Zealand Series
Ben Foakes out of New Zealand Test series due to injury
|| CF DESK ||
After ripping his hamstring in unexpected circumstances, Ben Foakes has been ruled out of England's Test series against New Zealand, allowing James Bracey to make his international debut and Haseeb Hameed to make an eye-catching return to the fold.
Wicketkeeper Ben Foakes had hoped to play in front of his home crowd at Lord's next week, but he now faces a three-month layoff. Following Surrey's 2-2 draw with Middlesex on Sunday, it's believed he slipped on a sock in the dressing room.
His ill-fortune means instant promotion for Gloucestershire gloveman Bracey, who is all but certain to take over at the home of cricket. His appearance would be the culmination of a year working with the team behind the scenes as part of an expanded squad, impressing coaches and colleagues with his dedication in the bio-secure bubble.
The 24-year-old could be expected to bat at number seven against the Black Caps, but he was originally selected as top-order cover, a duty that now falls to Hameed. Kent captain Sam Billings, who was drafted as wicketkeeping cover, is another benefit.
Billings played in the Indian Premier League recently, but was able to return to domestic action faster than Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow, who were not considered.
Hameed is unlikely to play, barring further injury news, but his call-up is nevertheless a significant one. The opener was tipped for big things when he impressed as a teenager in his Test bow in India almost five years ago – dubbed ‘baby Boycott’ by team-mates – but fell off the radar entirely after his initial run was ended by a broken finger.
On his return to county cricket with Lancashire he lost all semblance of form and found himself playing second XI cricket after averaging less than 10 in 2018.