Zafar Ansari injury hands England tour trouble

Zafar Ansari remains a doubt for the tour to face Pakistan. Picture: PA
Zafar Ansari remains a doubt for the tour to face Pakistan. Picture: PA
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England must wait to discover whether Zafar Ansari will be able to join them after all on the Test tour to face Pakistan.

Ansari suffered a cruel blow to his bowling hand, fielding in Surrey’s LV= Division Two match against Lancashire at Old Trafford.

The diagnosis after x-rays on Tuesday night was an open dislocation of his left thumb – an injury which is certain to rule the all-rounder out of Surrey’s Royal London Cup final against Gloucestershire at Lord’s on Saturday, and may well prevent him making his maiden England tour to take on the Pakistanis in the United Arab Emirates.

Only hours before he hurt his hand, trying to take a catch at cover-point from a fierce Ashwell Prince cut off Sam Curran, 23-year-old Ansari had been named for the first time in an England Test squad.

He was included to provide a left-arm spin option, alongside fellow slow bowlers Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali.

But yesterday morning, following a late-night medical bulletin from Surrey, England could only wait – probably for at least “24 to 48 hours” – before they may know the full extent and likely implications of Ansari’s injury. The only definitive information so far remains Surrey’s tweet on Tuesday night, which read: “Latest on Zafar Ansari is he has a open dislocation of the left thumb and the injury will be reviewed over the next couple of days.”

Surrey director of cricket Alec Stewart had earlier made clear his worries about the injury.

“It didn’t look good,” he said, having seen Ansari react in 
obvious pain before being led off the ground and taken to hospital.

“Fingers crossed for him, but seeing him in the dressing room it’s certainly a concern.”

There is a more reassuring update on the progress of England’s limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan, who was treated for concussion after being hit on the helmet by a Mitchell Starc bouncer in Sunday’s Royal London Series defeat to Australia at Old Trafford.

Morgan was named on Tuesday to lead England’s one-day international and Twenty20 squads against Pakistan in November.

A team spokesman reported Morgan’s condition since the weekend has been monitored but has given no further cause for concern.

Meanwhile, Scotland’s ICC World Cricket League Championship match against Holland in Amstelveen was rained off yesterday. Play was unable to start at the scheduled time of 10am due to heavy downpours and, with the rain unrelenting, the game was called off for the day after a further pitch inspection at 1pm.

The 50-over game at the VRA Ground has been rescheduled for today.