England Lions have been hit with further withdrawals after Essex's Dan Lawrence suffered a hand fracture while batting in the nets ahead of the third unofficial Test against West Indies A, starting on Monday. The injury, which will rule Lawrence out of the one-day series to follow, means a Lions debut for Sam Northeast, who only arrived in Antigua on Sunday but goes straight into the starting XI.
Northeast, 28, recently completed a move from Kent to Hampshire and is highly regarded on the county circuit - although curiously he has never represented the Lions, despite long being touted as an England prospect. He was due in the Caribbean for the one-day series but has now been drafted into four-day squad.
Lawrence's place for the one-dayers has been filled by Warwickshire batsman Sam Hain. Lawrence was not involved in the first two first-class games against West Indies A, both of which the Lions lost, but had been due to come into the side after Liam Livingstone suffered an ankle injury and was forced to go home early ahead of his maiden Test tour with England.
However, he was struck on the right hand during net practice on Saturday, with X-rays subsequently revealing a fracture. He joins Livingstone in leaving the tour early, along with Ben Foakes and Mason Crane, who were scheduled to depart after the second Test.
Northeast left Kent after refusing to extend his contract over the winter, citing Division One cricket and the chance to press his case with England as a reason for moving to Hampshire. He will be one of three debutants in the Lions team at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, with Northamptonshire quick Richard Gleeson - an injury replacement for George Garton - and Somerset spinner Dom Bess also coming in.
Hain, who will also be involved in the North-South series, comes into contention for the three one-day matches, starting on March 6. The Lions have already had to make changes to the squad, with Toby Roland-Jones and Matt Critchley coming in for the injured Tom Helm and Liam Dawson, who has signed up for the Pakistan Super League.
England Lions XI to play West Indies A in third unofficial Test: Keaton Jennings (capt), Haseeb Hameed, Nick Gubbins, Joe Clarke, Sam Northeast, Alex Davies (wk), Paul Coughlin, Dom Bess, Jack Leach, Saqib Mahmood, Richard Gleeson