England news December 23, 2013

Pace hope Overton out of Lions tour

ESPNcricinfo staff

Jamie Overton, the Somerset fast bowler who has rapidly attracted England's attention will miss the Lions tour of Sri Lanka in the New Year because of a knee injury. The ECB has announced that he will be replaced by Mark Wood, of Durham.

Overton and his fellow pace bowler, Wood remained at the National Performance Centre in Loughborough this winter to work on strength and conditioning while other members of the England Performance Programme shadowed the senior side in Australia.

The Lions will play five matches in Sri Lanka in February and March, including three four-day matches against Sri Lanka A.

Overton, still 19, was called up to England one-day squad against both Ireland and Australia last summer, but failed to make a debut, so denying him the opportunity to become the youngest cricketer to play for England since Brian Close in the 1940s. Not since the late Ben Hollioake made a dramtic impact into the England side in 1997 has a teenager made the full side.

He suffered from tendonitis in his knee on several occasions last season.

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  • Sanjay on December 24, 2013, 5:11 GMT

    It's going to do him more good by missing this tour. While it's important to learn to bowl on the slower subcontinental wickets, it's also important not to be bowled into the ground at an early stage of a youngster's career.

    A like for like replacement but the Lions squad is spin thin which is a real surprise given they'll be playing in Lanka. Now that Swann has retired, there are opportunities for young English spinners. Panesar is already 31 and will never nail down a permanent spot: he's volatile, prone to huge drops in form, and a poor fielder and batter. Meanwhile, Tredwell is no spring chicken either and considered a ODI specialist.

  • Michael on December 24, 2013, 0:35 GMT

    There is little point in bringing on teenagers too fast. Look at Pat Cummins. His case should serve as a dire warning. Attractive as it may seem to many including the youngster there is much to be said for not exposing Overton to England teams too early. He has his whole life ahead of him and he needs to still have an intact body for all the overs ahead when he has reached 21. Let him stay in the slower lane for now. His body will know when it's time. It would be tragic if he had to bowl at just above medium pace when he has developed because he was rushed into thing when he was young.

  • Dummy4 on December 23, 2013, 21:35 GMT

    A great shame as he is a real talent but then again so is Wood. Hope his knee improves soon.

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