Duckett set to miss start of season due to finger surgery

Ben Duckett (centre) watches from the bench during England Lions T20 match against Perth Scorchers Getty Images

Ben Duckett will miss the start of the English domestic season after it was decided he would undergo surgery on a finger injury sustained at the end of the 2017 summer.

Duckett will have the operation on the ring finger of his left hand next Monday, with the recovery time estimated to be 12 weeks, after he carried the injury over the last few months.

The surgery means that Duckett has also been ruled out of the North v South one-day series in Barbados in late March.

It has been a difficult few months for Duckett, who played four Tests for England in late 2016 against Bangladesh and India, after he was caught up in controversy in Australia for throwing a drink over James Anderson in a Perth nightclub when the England Lions squad was alongside the main Ashes party.

Duckett was not sent home at the time of the incident - which came just a few weeks after the Jonny Bairstow headbutt affair at the same club - but was suspended and given a written warning at the time then omitted from the Lions squad which is currently touring West Indies.

Duckett's absence will stretch the Northamptonshire squad at the start of their County Championship campaign. A 12-week timescale takes Duckett's likely absence into May but his return could coincide with the start of the Royal London Cup.

He will be replaced in the North's squad by Adam Hose, the Warwickshire batsman, who impressed during Birmingham Bears' run to the NatWest T20 Blast final.

A change has also been required for the South after England allrounder Liam Dawson signed for the Pakistan Super League as a replacement for Shakib Al Hasan, with Ollie Pope, the Surrey batsman, taking his place.

Dawson, who is currently with England's T20 squad for the tri-series in Australia and New Zealand, had also been set to play in the one-day leg of the Lions series against West Indies A. The selectors have yet to decide whether to replace him for that portion of the tour.