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Injured Foakes ruled out, England call up Hameed, Billings

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London, May 26 (IANS) England wicketkeeper-batsman Ben Foakes was on Wednesday ruled out of next month’s Test series against New Zealand due to hamstring injury, forcing team management to call up wicketkeeper-batsman Sam Billings and opener Haseeb Hameed.

“Foakes, who was selected in the England men’s squad earlier this month, was set to play his first Test in home conditions next month at Lord’s, sustained the [torn left hamstring] injury on Sunday slipping in the dressing room after Surrey’s County Championship fixture against Middlesex at the Kia Oval,” said an England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) statement.

“He will now be assessed and work closely on his rehabilitation with the Surrey medical team and is expected to be out of action for at least three months,” it said.

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Billings, who has played white-ball cricket for England, is yet to play a Test.

Hameed, who has been in impressive form during the ongoing county season, has scored 474 runs at an average of 52.66. He last played Test cricket in November 2016. His three Test caps came in India in 2016.

Hameed will play for Nottinghamshire in this week’s County Championship match against Warwickshire at Edgbaston starting on Thursday. He will join England team at its base in London on Sunday night.

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–IANS

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