Manchester, United Kingdom, Jun 17 – England opener Jason Roy will miss the hosts’ next two World Cup matches with a torn left hamstring, the England and Wales Cricket Board said on Monday.
Roy, who sustained the injury while fielding during England’s win over the West Indies on Friday, has been ruled out of Tuesday’s group fixture against Afghanistan at Old Trafford and Friday’s match against Sri Lanka at Headingley.
Meanwhile, England captain Eoin Morgan, who suffered a back spasm in the field against the West Indies and did not bat in that match, will be assessed ahead of the Afghanistan clash but he expects to play against the tournament minnows.
“England batsman Jason Roy, who left the field during West Indies’ innings in the ICC Cricket World Cup fixture on Friday due to left hamstring tightness, underwent an MRI scan on Saturday in London,” a team spokesman said.
“The MRI confirmed that Roy has suffered a hamstring tear.
“He is set to miss England’s next two matches in the ICC Cricket World Cup against Afghanistan (18 June) and Sri Lanka (21 June).”
– ‘Drastically improved’ –
Morgan, speaking at a pre-match press conference on Monday, said he intended to play against Afghanistan after coming through an indoor net session at Old Trafford.
“It’s drastically improved,” he said of his back. “I’ve had a hit in the nets and I’m aiming to play tomorrow,” the middle-order batsman added.
“If the game was today I think I could play. It all depends on how I pull up in the morning.”
Roy, who suffered a hamstring injury during England’s tour of the Caribbean earlier this year, hit a fifty in their World Cup opening win over South Africa and then struck a commanding 153 in a victory over Bangladesh.
But he fell for just eight during England’s surprise 14-run group loss to Pakistan at Trent Bridge.
Joe Root was promoted to open alongside Jonny Bairstow against the West Indies and the Test skipper responded with an unbeaten century.
But Morgan said Monday that Roy would be replaced at the top of the order by James Vince, the reserve batsman in England’s 15-man squad.
Morgan, however, was confident Roy’s World Cup was far from finished, with England bidding to win the tournament for the first time.
“I certainly believe Jason will play again in this tournament,” he said.
“He’s out of the next two games. So we’ll see how he pulls up after that.
“He’s obviously a huge part of what we’ve been doing. He’s in the best form of his life. So he’s very important.”
– Hales ‘stigma’ –
Alex Hales was set to be the back-up batsman in England’s squad until a report in the Guardian newspaper in April revealed he was serving a 21-day ban following a second positive test for recreational drug use.
The ECB responded to the report by announcing that Hales, a member of the provisional World Cup squad, had been withdrawn from international duty.
Morgan was non-committal when asked by reporters whether Hales could be called up if Roy was ruled out of the tournament completely.
But in an interview with the BBC, Morgan expressed reservations.
“If Ed Smith (chairman of selectors) came to myself and (England coach) Trevor Baylis and said he felt that Alex was the best option, we would have to assess how that would sit in the changing room and the stigma it would bring with Alex coming back in,” he said.
“It’s not something that we’ve talked about –- we’ve not talked about replacing any player and that’s a real positive within itself.”