The England team management has decided to ban football from being played in the training sessions after in-form batsman Rory Burns suffered an injury during a warm-up kickabout that ruled him out of the ongoing Test series against South Africa.
Burns, who scored 84 for England in the second innings in the first Test in Centurion, injured his ankle ligaments on the eve of the second match in Cape Town. The visitors lost to a resurgent South Africa in Centurion by 107 runs and are looking to revive their pride in the second game that kicked off on Friday.
Surrey left-hander Burns, 29, made his debut in Test in November 2018 and has scored 979 runs in 15 matches at an average of 33, with two hundreds and six fifties.
This is not the first time that an England cricketer has suffered an injury while playing football in the training sessions. Jonny Bairstow faced a similar experience in Sri Lanka in 2018 that saw him missing the start of the Test series. Ollie Pope also had a close encounter with a football injury a day before Burns suffered his.
ECB cricket director Ashley Giles has always been against football
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) director of cricket Ashley Giles has always been against playing football. At the time of taking up his charge, the former England spinner said: “If you look at what football does, the benefits from a psychological and fun point of view are outstripped by the dangers from it.”
However, Giles’ reluctance to ban football in practice sessions saw him coming under criticism from Wisden. “If he felt strongly that playing football could be to the detriment of England’s success, he should have already outlawed it,” it said in a report.
The ECB, however, reportedly denied having disallowed the counties to play football in practice sessions, saying that it’s a decision that they themselves would make, Wisden added. England were yet to announce a replacement for Burns in the squad. The visiting squad has been plagued by a bug which has prevented it from playing the best XI.
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