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News

Six England T20I players to leave BBL to prepare for West Indies tour

Sam Billings, Saqib Mahmood, George Garton, Tymal Mills, Reece Topley and James Vince to head home by January 7

Sam Billings is one of six England players leaving the BBL  •  Getty Images

Sam Billings is one of six England players leaving the BBL  •  Getty Images

Six members of England's T20I squad will be withdrawn from their respective BBL sides by January 7 to allow them time at home in the UK before flying out for the tour of the West Indies.
Sam Billings, Saqib Mahmood, George Garton, Tymal Mills, Reece Topley and James Vince will all head home in the next week prior to England's T20I squad flying to Barbados on January 15 for the five-match T20I series, which is scheduled to start on January 22.
While the last day of the Ashes series is January 18, none of England's Test squad members are involved in the T20I series and coach Chris Silverwood will also be absent. Assistant coach Paul Collingwood, who left Australia prior to Christmas, will stand in for the T20I portion of the Caribbean tour, with Marcus Trescothick assisting him. The ECB also recently advertised for three additional coaching roles on short-term contracts for the T20Is in Barbados.
The withdrawal of the BBL players leaves Sydney Thunder (Billings and Mahmood), Adelaide Strikers (Garton), Melbourne Renegades (Topley), Perth Scorchers (Mills) and Sydney Sixers (Vince) without key players for the back-end of the tournament - though Garton was left out of the Strikers' defeat to Sydney Thunder on Sunday after a run of poor form. However, the teams had been aware of this scenario since the England squad was selected on December 23.
The ECB confirmed that the players selected were always set to return early to prepare for the Caribbean tour with safe-living guidelines and Covid-19 protocols at the forefront of the ECB's thinking. Each player will coordinate with their own BBL club as to how many more fixtures they can play prior to heading home to the UK.