Sports, Cricket

PSL clash leaves England short-stocked for Bangladesh tour

Published : 01 Feb 2023 09:01 PM

England will test the depth of their white-ball reserves as they prepare to announce a depleted squad for their of Bangladesh in March this week.

A combination of scheduling conflicts, injuries and franchise commitments will likely see limited-overs coach Matthew Mott and captain Jos Buttler lead a mixed squad of established players, fringe talent and new faces. The three ODIs and three T20Is in Bangladesh were originally due to take place in October 2021 prior to that year's T20 World Cup in the UAE, before the ECB and BCB agreed on a postponement.

On Monday The Telegraph reported that Alex Hales, who returned to the national team for 2022's T20 World Cup, has opted to forgo the tour having committed to a more lucrative deal with Pakistan Super League franchise Islamabad United starting from February 26.

It has since been understood that Sam Billings, Liam Dawson and James Vince, three players who have been in and around both white-ball teams for several years, are also expected to follow suit. ESPNcricinfo also understands that Richard Gleeson and Tymal Mills are considering their availability for the T20I leg of the tour. The PSL is due to run from February 13 to March 19, and Hales had already indicated to his franchise that he would be taking time off before the competition once the ILT20 had come to an end.

The first ODI against Bangladesh is on March 1, meaning those players who are part of the Test tour of New Zealand will not be available, with the second Test due to finish on February 28 in Wellington.

That rules out Harry Brook, Ben Duckett, Olly Stone (all currently involved in the ODIs in South Africa) and Joe Root. Will Jacks, yet to be capped in the 50-over format but seen as an opening option going forward, is also on the Test tour. He was not picked for the ongoing South Africa ODI series, having been permitted to play a full part in the concurrent SA20, and he will be moving onto the PSL after the New Zealand tour, having been picked up as a replacement player by Quetta Gladiators.

Along with the absences of Jonny Bairstow and Liam Livingstone through injury, it is likely some of those on the Lions tour of Sri Lanka will be drafted in. Fast bowler Mark Wood, currently resting after the Test tour of Pakistan, is due to return for Bangladesh.