England allrounder Chris Woakes will take no further part in the Champions Trophy, after suffering aside strain in the tournament opener against Bangladesh on Thursday. Woakes was forced off the field after bowling just two overs, and did not return.
He had scans later, which revealed the injury was serious enough to end his tournament. England are expected to name their replacement late on Saturday after England Lions complete their second one-day match against South Africa A.
Woakes had gone into the Bangladesh match nursing a tight quad that led to his omission from the final two matches of England’s recent ODI series against South Africa, but he seemed back to his best when he opened the tournament with a maiden to Tamim Iqbal.
Morgan said after the game that England had not rushed Woakes back from the quad niggle. “He was chomping at the bit to play,” he said. “If we rushed him, he might have played the last game of the [South Africa] one-day series but we didn’t want to rush him.”
While the details of Woakes’ injury are not yet known, a typical recovery for a side strain can take between four and six weeks. Things get especially tricky if the injury involves damage to the intercostal muscles, because, even when fully recovered, fast bowlers in particular find it hard to hit the crease with their usual aggression for fear of suffering a relapse.
In Woakes’ absence, England’s remaining bowlers did enough to limit Bangladesh to an obtainable 305 for 6. However, their seam attack remains a cause for concern. Jake Ball – included in place of the legspinner Adil Rashid – struggled for form, conceding 82 runs in his ten overs, while doubts still linger over Ben Stokes’ ability to bowl a full spell following a knee injury.
The likeliest replacement is Middlesex’s Steven Finn, who was considered unlucky to have missed out on original selection for the squad, in spite of his occasionally erratic form in recent months. He signalled his readiness for a recall by claiming three wickets for England Lions against South Africa A on Thursday.
Other candidates could be Toby Roland-Jones, the Middlesex seamer who made his debut against South Africa at Lord’s and offers batting ability, or Surrey’s Tom Curran who was called up to the tour of West Indies earlier this year.
Given that England are now in the midst of a global tournament, another strong candidate could have been Stuart Broad, a proven international performer who has not been a regular member of the one-day set-up since the end of the 2015 World Cup, but was drafted into the tour of South Africa last winter. However, it is understood that he is not under consideration. (ESPNCricinfo)