England’s Jonny Bairstow ruled out of final one-day international and T20 match v Sri Lanka with ankle ligament injury

SETBACK

The wicket-keeper sustained the injury the day before England’s fourth ODI and now faces a race against time to get fit for the upcoming first Test on November 6

Jonny Bairstow has been ruled out of England’s final one-day international and solitary T20 match against Sri Lanka after suffering ligament damage to his ankle.

The wicket-keeper now faces a race against time to be fit for the upcoming Test series which begins on November 6 in Galle.

Bairstow picked up the injury playing football on the eve of the fourth ODI

Bairstow picked up the injury playing football on the eve of the fourth ODI

Bairstow missed the fourth ODI after hurting his right ankle playing football on the eve of the match and was taken for a scan in Colombo on Sunday.

Whether he will be ready to take part in the first Test playing as either a specialist batsman or wicket-keeper, is not yet known.

An England and Wales Cricket Board statement said: “He will be monitored and assessed on a daily basis by the England medical team in Sri Lanka and a further update given in due course on his fitness ahead of the three-match Test series next month.”

Bairstow will need to be at the peak of his powers if he is to take the gloves in Sri Lanka, a demanding task that is likely to involve long passages of play standing up to the spinners in sapping heat.

Jos Buttler filled in behind the stumps in Bairstow’s absence in the fourth ODI

Jos Buttler filled in behind the stumps in Bairstow’s absence in the fourth ODI

Jos Buttler does the job in limited-overs cricket and deputised against India for one Test when Bairstow was suffering with a broken finger last summer. The Yorkshireman is reluctant to give up the role, though.

England captain Eoin Morgan has confirmed that football, the current squad’s much-loved warm-up of choice, will not be banned and several players took part in a game on the morning of the fourth ODI.

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Cricket – talkSPORT

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