<
>

Winfield ruled out of England World Cup opener

England have suffered a major setback in their preparations for Saturday's Women's World Cup opener against India at Derby, with the news that Lauren Winfield, their hard-hitting opener, will miss the match after sustaining a wrist injury.

Winfield chose to retire out on 27 during England's final warm-up match against New Zealand at Derby on Wednesday, but it did not appear an issue at the time as England coasted to a seven-wicket victory with more than 22 overs remaining.

She is set to undergo a further assessment next week, but the team management are already anticipating that she will have to miss England's second fixture, against Pakistan at Leicester on Tuesday.

In the meantime, her hand will put in a protective cast until further information is available to the medical staff.

Winfield, 26, has been an integral part of the England team's revival in the past 12 months, in the aftermath of a disappointing showing at the World T20 in March 2016.

Following the retirement of Charlotte Edwards last year, Winfield's partnership with Tammy Beaumont at the top of the order has injected a new intensity into England's one-day batting, and against Pakistan at Worcester last June, they both made centuries in a record opening stand of 235.

Winfield followed that up with two half-centuries in a hard-fought 3-2 series win over West Indies in the Caribbean in October.

It is the latest setback to England's preparations, following the foot injury that Heather Knight, the captain, sustained in the build-up to the tournament. Knight sat out the New Zealand fixture, but confirmed she is back to full fitness with wickets and runs in England's previous warm-up game, against Sri Lanka at Chesterfield.