Bopara 'not ready' for return
Ravi Bopara has stood down from the opening England Lions match against Australia A at Old Trafford after feeling he was not ready to return to cricket following the personal issues that led to his withdrawal from the second Test against South Africa.
Bopara was drafted into the Lions squad on Sunday as a replacement for James Taylor who made his Test debut at Headingley in place of Bopara. However, he was not in the eleven named for the four-day encounter and issued a brief statement.
"I thought I was ready to return to action but after some consideration I just feel it's too early so won't be playing quite yet," he said.
In Bopara's absence Taylor made a determined 34 in Leeds, forming a partnership of 147 with Kevin Pietersen which brought England back into the match. Bopara had made 0 and 22 at The Oval in what was his first Test for nearly a year.
Eoin Morgan will captain the Lions and they included three spinners for the opening match with Simon Kerrigan, James Tredwell and Samit Patel all playing. Matt Coles, the Kent bowler, was the other player left out from the 13-man squad.