England opener Rory Burns quits football until he retires from cricket

Rory Burns lost four months of his career after he got injured while playing football in a warm-up session.

Rory Burns
Rory Burns. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

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England opener Rory Burns has bid goodbye to his footie days after returning to cricket from his ankle injury. Burns was on the top of the world, after hitting his maiden in the Ashes 2019 against a fiery Australian team and it seemed England had finally found their replacement for Alastair Cook. However, his tour to South Africa was scrapped after he had hurt his ankle while playing football during warmups.

He had scored another ton on the tour of New Zealand and was developing into a dependable cricketer that England was missing at the top of the order. He was having a friendly game of football ahead of the second Test against the Proteas when he rolled his ankle after taking a shot. It was a blow to England as Burns was one of few players not struck down with an illness. Scans showed ligament damage to his ankle and his tour came to an end.

It was an avoidable setback, says Rory Burns

Burns has achieved full fitness, but it took four months out of his career when he could have been scoring runs for his team. “It’s taken four months out of a career and the stage I had got myself to where I was playing quite nicely. It was an avoidable setback and when you get something that’s avoidable like that you probably re-evaluate whether you want to waste your time rehabbing four months in a gym or being on a plane to Sri Lanka. So, while I am still a professional cricketer, I probably won’t play football again,” he was quoted as saying by The Guardian.

In his absence, Zak Crawley and Dominic Sibley did well against Proteas attack in a series that England won comfortably. The duo will face the toughest challenge on their upcoming tour to Sri Lanka, where they will face spinners of the highest quality on turning tracks. Burns lamented the fact that his injury was completely unavoidable and it displayed the downsides of football.

“It was a bit freakish. Most people roll their ankle on the outside; I did go over to the inside. I think my studs got caught on the floor. If none of those guys get injured moving forward because football has been moved out of it then I think that’s a positive thing for English cricket,” Burns added. The opener has amassed 979 runs in his 15 Test appearances so far.

He is looking to get going at the top level, by scoring runs for Surrey and leading them perfectly and then clawing his way back into the Test team.