Wood ruled out of Sri Lanka tour

In a cruel blow, fast bowler Mark Wood has been ruled out of England’s tour of Sri Lanka after suffering a side strain at the end of the recent South Africa tour.

The 30-year-old fast bowler looked to have made a breakthrough in South Africa, as he took 12 wickets in his two appearances in the 3-1 Test series victory over South Africa.

The Durham player had several scans in London, which confirmed a small tear to his left side – the same side he injured in July’s World Cup final, which meant he missed the Ashes.

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Wood, one of the best and fastest bowlers in the world on a day he his full fit, has been very prone to injury throughout his career, as he has only been able to play 15 Tests since his debut in 2015.

England are acutely aware they will need to manage his workload as skilfully as possible if he is going to be fit to have an impact in the next away Ashes in 2021-22.

Wood will now start an injury rehabilitation programme, working with England and Durham medical teams.

Lancashire fast-bowler Saqib Mahmood has been called-up to the squad as a replacement for the 30-year-old.

Mahmood has so far played in a single one-day international and three international Twenty20 matches for England, but is yet to feature in Test cricket.

Mahmood, 23, will link up with the squad ahead of their departure for Sri Lanka on Monday (March 2).

The first Test is scheduled to begin on March 19 in Galle. The two-match series will be played as part of the ICC World Test Championship, marking the first time the sides have met in the tournament.

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