England wicketkeeper-batter Ben Foakes has been ruled out of the ongoing third Test against New Zealand at Headingley after testing positive for Covid-19. Foakes, who was out for a duck in the first innings, did not keep wickets on day three’s play on Saturday because of a stiff back, with Jonny Bairstow taking up keeping duties.
“Foakes was unable to keep wicket yesterday on day three of the Third LV- Insurance Test at Headingley suffering from back stiffness. On a further medical assessment yesterday evening, he subsequently tested positive after administering an LFT Covid-19 test.”
“Details of his return to the England set-up will be announced in due course. However, it is hoped he will be fit for the LV- Insurance Test against India starting next Friday at Edgbaston,” said a statement by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
ECB also said that Sam Billings has been named as Foakes’ replacement, subject to International Cricket Council (ICC) approval and will also be on keeping duties instead of Bairstow on Sunday. Billings was supposed to be playing for his domestic side Kent in a Vitality T20 Blast match on Sunday.
“Kent wicketkeeper/batter Sam Billings, subject to ICC approval, has been drafted in as a like-for-like Covid replacement and will go straight into the XI when the fourth day gets underway from 11.00 am today. He will keep wicket.”
“The rest of the England party follows health protocols of symptom reporting and subsequent testing if required. There are no other positive cases in the camp,” added ECB.
New Zealand will resume day four of the Leeds Test against England from 168/5 in their second innings, with a lead of 137 runs.