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Stokes, Archer rested for SL tour

England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have announced a 16-man squad for the two-Test tour of Sri Lanka next month.



Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer have been rested for the short tour ahead of a marathon India tour, where England will play four Tests, five T20Is and three ODIs in February-March 2021.

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Stokes and Archer were previously rested for scheduled ODIs in South Africa, which later got postponed due to COVID-19. The duo took part in the T20I series earlier.

“Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes have been rested for the tour and will return in February for the Test series against India,” ECB said in a release.

“The National Selectors will provide a block of rest for all multi-format players at various points over the winter period.

“Surrey batsman Rory Burns misses the tour as his wife is expecting their first child during the second week of January.

“Ollie Pope, who is recovering from a shoulder injury sustained in September during the Test series against Pakistan, will join the squad and continue his rehab in readiness for the four-match Test series against India starting in February.”

Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali have been recalled in the Test squad. The squad also sees the return of 2018 Sri Lanka tour heroes Jack Leach and Ben Foakes. Leach and Ali were the highest wicket-takers for England, while Foakes was the Player of the Series in England’s 3-0 sweep.

England will leave for Sri Lanka on January 2. The first Test will commence on January 14 and the second on January 22, both at Galle International Cricket Stadium. Joe Root-led side will head to India for two-month long tour.  

England squad: Joe Root (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dom Sibley, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

Reserves: James Bracey, Mason Crane, Saqib Mahmood, Craig Overton, Matthew Parkinson, Ollie Robinson, Amar Virdi.

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