TWENTY-four hours after announcing that he had been ruled out of the one-day series against Pakistan through injury, England yesterday announced that David Willey, the Yorkshire all-rounder, is to rejoin the national squad after all.
In a statement on Sunday, the England and Wales Cricket Board said that an X-ray to Willey’s left hand, his bowling hand, had “not excluded a significant injury”, casting doubt on his participation for the rest of the season considering that the summer has only a month or so to run.
But a second scan yesterday revealed that there is no fracture to the hand that Willey injured when he was struck by a fierce return drive from Mark Stoneman, the Durham batsman, during NatWest T20 Blast Finals Day at Edgbaston on Saturday.
It is now being suggested that Willey could even feature in the second one-day international at Lord’s on Saturday, with the five-match series starting in Southampton tomorrow.
Jake Ball, the Nottinghamshire seamer who was called up to replace Willey, will stay with the national squad and therefore be unavailable for the County Championship game against Yorkshire at Scarborough, which starts this morning.
Stuart Broad, the England pace bowler, has also been withdrawn from Notts’ squad for the fixture at North Marine Road pending a scan on his left ankle.
Both second-placed Yorkshire and bottom club Notts are depleted due to injuries and international calls as they each look to bounce back from losing in the T20 semi-finals.
Alex Lees, the Yorkshire one-day captain, said that there was no time to dwell on that setback as the county champions seek a win that would significantly strengthen their hopes of a hat-trick of titles.
“We don’t have time to feel sorry for ourselves because there’s some big games coming up in the next five or six weeks, starting with Notts,” said Lees.
“It’s a massive game against a team who have struggled for form this year, and if we can play our brand of cricket, I’m sure that we’ll put pressure on them over the four days.”
Lees said Yorkshire are relishing the chance to get Saturday’s disappointment out of their system.
“The opportunity to get back up and running in a different competition with a win, and so soon after the disappointment of Saturday, is a great incentive,” he said. “We need to show the character that this group has become renowned for in recent years.”