England seamer Josh Tongue retained in squad for first two Ashes Tests

  • Worcestershire fast bowler has impressed against Ireland
  • Unchanged 16-man squad named for Edgbaston and Lord’s

England have named an unchanged 16-man squad for the first two Ashes Tests of the summer with Josh Tongue’s fine debut against Ireland enough to keep his place in the group.

The Worcestershire seamer Tongue was a late addition to England’s squad for this week’s one-off Test against Ireland because of injury concerns over Jimmy Anderson (groin) and Ollie Robinson (ankle), who are both expected to be fit to face Australia at Edgbaston on 16 June.

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England cricket team bus briefly held up by Just Stop Oil protest in London

  • Jonny Bairstow posts image of protesters in front of team bus
  • Bus arrives at Lord’s on time for Ireland match after short delay

The England men’s cricket team’s Test summer got off to a difficult start after the team bus was briefly held up on its way to Lord’s by Just Stop Oil protesters.

Jonny Bairstow, one of the 11 players selected to face Ireland in a one-off Test that begins on Thursday, posted a photo on his Instagram story which showed Just Stop Oil protesters and police in the road in front of their team coach. Bairstow’s caption read: “If we’re a bit late it’s not our fault.”

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England’s attack in flux as busy summer approaches

  • Mark Wood doubtful, but could still face Ireland
  • McCullum cautious about Stokes: ‘he’ll bowl at some stage’

England are facing a bowling crisis at the start of the Test campaign, with Jimmy Anderson and Ollie Robinson ruled out of this week’s match against Ireland at Lord’s and Mark Wood also a doubt. Ben Stokes’s ability to drag his injured knee through a few overs is also sufficiently uncertain that all Brendon McCullum, the England coach, would say on the subject was that “I think he’ll bowl at some stage throughout the summer”.

Wood bowled during the team’s first training session at Lord’s on Monday and though England will not be inclined to take any risks with the first Ashes Test little over a fortnight away he could yet play on Thursday. “He looks like he is going all right. We’ll have to monitor it,” McCullum said.

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Uncapped Josh Tongue joins England Test squad to face Ireland

  • Worcestershire seamer dismissed Steve Smith at start of month
  • Right-armer has been tracked by England for some time

Josh Tongue wondered if early retirement was calling following a rare shoulder injury that left him unable to feel his entire right arm. But now the Worcestershire seamer has been handed his first call-up by England for the one-off Test against Ireland next week.

Tongue, 25, has already been in the headlines this summer, becoming the first bowler to dismiss Steve Smith during the Australian’s pre-Ashes warm-up stint at Sussex. Though a borderline lbw decision, the spell still underlined the right-armer’s promise.

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Robinson gives England Ashes boost but not set to face Ireland in one-off Test

  • Bowler viewed as central to series against Australia
  • England now weighing up whether to add any cover

Ollie Robinson has been cleared to join the England squad for the one-off Test against Ireland next week but is unlikely to feature despite scans on his left ankle showing no obvious injury.

The 29-year-old is viewed as central to England’s chances of regaining the Ashes this summer and the sight of him on crutches and wearing a moon boot over the weekend – halfway through the Division Two match between Sussex and Glamorgan – set alarm bells ringing.

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Jimmy Anderson: ‘No one in the world can cope with us at our best’

The England seamer is in confident mood before the Ashes, even if he expects to play in only ‘three out of five’ Tests of the series

Jimmy Anderson is about to feature in his 10th Ashes series and, in the postwar era, no man has done so more times. Colin Cowdrey played 10 between 1954 and 1975, while Steve Waugh’s nine between 1986 and 2003 is the most for an Australian. Yep, here comes the latest longevity based landmark for old Jim.

There is a small matter of a minor groin strain to overcome first, Anderson requesting an extra match with Lancashire last week to get up to speed only to feel a twinge in the area. “Not a good twinge,” he says, meaning that while he could be ready for the Lord’s Test against Ireland that starts on 1 June, he may not be risked.

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The Ashes without Jofra Archer will burn a little less brightly for Australians too | Geoff Lemon

The bowler’s pace and style will be sorely missed, as will the highly anticipated rematch with Steve Smith and company

If you started following cricket recently, you might wonder why the fuss about Jofra Archer missing this year’s Ashes. A player with 13 Tests for England, the last well over two years ago, and 42 wickets averaging 31. Those who watched four years ago will know why Archer is imprinted on an Australian cricket consciousness as firmly as on England’s. His earlier work in Australia’s domestic T20 league had already introduced an incredible athlete in the field and a force with the ball. Then he showed up in the second Ashes match of 2019 in place of the injured James Anderson.

Weeks earlier he had won England a first men’s World Cup, a nerveless yorker from the last ball of a deciding Super Oval keeping Martin Guptill to one run when New Zealand needed two. It deservedly sits atop Archer’s highlight reel. But in the age of T20 proliferation, finding a bowler who can deliver one ball under pressure to end a game is possible. Far more rare is one who can do what he did on Test debut at Lord’s.

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Michael Vaughan returns to BBC cricket coverage for Ashes summer

  • Charge against former captain was found not proven by CDC
  • Vaughan was dropped from BBC coverage in autumn 2021

Michael Vaughan is to return to the BBC and play a key part in its cricket coverage this summer after being earlier this year cleared of making a racist remark during his time as a player at Yorkshire.

The former England captain will broadcast on England’s first home Test this year, against Ireland at Lord’s, and for the Ashes series that follows it, with the corporation announcing that he will be contributing to their Test Match Special radio commentary and be among the guests for the Ireland Test’s highlights programme, to be broadcast on BBC Two on 1 June.

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England’s Jonny Bairstow feared he might not walk again after golf injury

  • Fit-again batter says there were ‘some dark times last winter’
  • Jimmy Anderson may not be risked for Ireland Test

Jonny Bairstow feared he might not be able to walk again but newly fit after last year’s horrific leg break and restored to the role of Test wicketkeeper, the Yorkshireman fancies the good times can roll once more come the Ashes.

That Bairstow would return to England’s side once fit was scarcely in question given his explosive role in last summer’s surging performances, those four centuries in five innings ushering in the new era. Still, displacing Ben Foakes behind the stumps for the Ireland Test has certainly caught the eye.

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England cut is harsh on Foakes but Bairstow decision offers Ashes clarity | Ali Martin

Whatever the rights and wrongs of Jonny Bairstow’s return behind the stumps for England’s Test side, the selectors cannot be accused of dithering

Surrey didn’t hang about. Just 10 minutes after the England squad was announced, confirming Jonny Bairstow’s return behind the stumps for Ireland and thus the start of the Ashes summer, and with Ben Foakes missing from the list of 15 players, the club’s Twitter feed fired up in solidarity with the fall guy.

“The best keeper in the world was at it again last week,” read the pointed post, accompanied by a lightning emoji and a video of his silken glove work during the win against Middlesex. Alec Stewart gave Foakes that title a couple of years back and Ben Stokes, a Test captain not prone to hyperbole, has repeated it a good few times since.

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Jofra Archer out of Ashes after recurrence of elbow stress fracture

  • Fast bowler misses second straight summer for England
  • Jonny Bairstow will keep wicket with Foakes dropped

Jofra Archer will miss a third successive summer, and a second successive Ashes series, after scans revealed a recurrence of a stress fracture to his right elbow. The England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed the news when announcing the squad for next month’s one-off Test against Ireland, for which Jonny Bairstow returns after recovering from a triple leg break and will take the wicketkeeping gloves from Ben Foakes, who has been left out altogether.

Rob Key, the ECB’s managing director for men’s cricket, said Archer was “pretty distraught” about his latest setback, which was confirmed after the bowler’s premature return from the IPL last week. It is the third time the 28-year-old has suffered the injury, which appeared first in January 2020 and then again the following August, while he sat out last summer with a stress fracture to his lower back.

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Jimmy Anderson gives England injury scare after suffering mild groin strain

  • Lancashire confirm injury was sustained against Somerset
  • Assessments suggest Anderson is likely to recover for Ashes

A month before the start of the Ashes and a little over a fortnight before England face Ireland in their first Test of the summer, Jimmy Anderson has joined a disconcertingly expanding list of injury doubts after a scan confirmed that he had suffered a mild strain to his right groin during Lancashire’s County Championship draw with Somerset.

The injury was significant enough to keep the 40-year-old off the pitch for the final three days of the game, after he had bowled 14 overs in the first. He had a scan on Saturday night, with the news representing a downbeat conclusion to a week in which Jofra Archer was recalled from the IPL because of continued issues with his right elbow and Olly Stone was ruled out for up to six weeks with a hamstring injury.

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