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England pacer Olly Stone ruled out of Windies Tests; to wait for long-format debut

The visitors are yet to announce a replacement for Stone.

Olly Stone
Olly Stone. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

England want to continue with their impressive Test run from 2018 into this year but the news of injury hit their feel-good plans for the Windies tour which kicked off on Tuesday. The Three Lions lost pacer Olly Stone to a back injury and it postponed the 25-year-old’s debut in the longer format for some time. England will play three Tests, five ODIs and three T20Is during their tour of the Caribbeans.

Stone had stiffness in his lower back since taking part in a practice session on January 13. The Warwickshire bowler went for scans in Barbados and it was confirmed that he had an injury serious enough to take rest during the Test series starting January 23. England played a two-day game against West Indies Cricket President’s XI at the Three Ws Oval, Cave Hill, Barbados and did well to bowl out the opponents for a total lower than theirs.

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Stone impressed with his pace in Sri Lanka

Stone made his ODI debut in England’s last series against Sri Lanka, managing a single wicket, and was hoping to make a mark in Tests. But he will have to wait for the ODIs against the Windies starting on February 20.

“Following the result of scans, Olly Stone has sustained a bone stress injury to the left lower back. He will return home from the Caribbean later this week and have further tests in the UK,” the England and Wales Cricket Board said in a statement on Wednesday.

Stone though got a solitary wicket in his first four ODIs, his speed impressed in the series that England won. However, injury has remained a top concern for the right-arm fast bowler who had his career halted for 18 months with a ligament injury. The promising bowler has played in just 34 first-class games since making his debut in 2012.

Former England spinner Ashley Giles who was earlier the director of cricket at Warwickshire and has taken up an administrative role with the English board, cautioned the selectors last year against overworking Stone. Giles even called Stone a “Ferrari” who needed to be used cautiously.

The visitors are yet to announce a replacement for Stone though the names of Jamie Overton, Jamie Porter and Mark Wood are doing the rounds to take his place.

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