JACKS INJURY WOE OPENS DOOR FOR AHMED
WILL JACKS is to return home from the white-ball tour of Bangladesh after a thigh injury dealt a cruel blow to his World Cup ambitions.
Surrey all-rounder Jacks dashed from England’s Test series in New Zealand a week ago, after being overlooked for the dramatic second match in Wellington, to complete a hat-trick of international debuts in six months.
Jacks, 24, experienced discomfort in his quad muscle in England’s crushing 132-run win on Friday and will not have the opportunity to stake further claims for a place in the side’s 50-over title defence in India later this year. An ECB spokesperson said: ‘Will Jacks has been ruled out of the remainder of the tour of Bangladesh after suffering a left thigh injury while fielding during the second one-day international in Dhaka. Jacks will fly home in the next 48 hours to begin his recovery.’
Jacks was identified as a contender for a World Cup squad place due to his combination of fierce hitting and spin bowling, but his misfortune offers an opportunity for Leicestershire’s teenager Rehan Ahmed — a cricketer of similar characteristics — to add a first ODI cap to the Test one he was handed in Pakistan before Christmas. Ironically, that also came as a replacement for Jacks, who was also in England’s squad alongside Ahmed for the three-match Twenty20 series against Bangladesh that begins on Thursday. It is thought that England will continue with a 14-man playing group for those matches, to maximise exposure for the original selections rather than call in a replacement. England fast bowler Mark Wood toured Pakistan with Ahmed, 18, and said of the leg-spinner, who took seven debut wickets in Karachi: ‘He is the real deal. He’s got youthful enthusiasm and excitement and it’s as if he’s playing a club game. He wants to bowl and whack it. ‘When he played his Test match, it was like it was not a big deal, and I think he will be exactly the same whatever the format is.’