England have called up uncapped Lions seamer George Garton as cover for their pace attack in next week’s final Ashes warm-up match after scans confirmed Jake Ball has an ankle ligament strain.
Ball, who fell in his delivery stride during day two of the ongoing pink-ball trial match against a Cricket Australia XI in Adelaide, will play no further part in that fixture and is a doubt to face the same opponents again in Townsville.
Sussex left-armer Garton, 20, was due to fly to Australia with the Lions this month but will arrive early and divert to briefly join the Test squad.
The England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed the contingency in a statement.
It read: “Jake Ball is a doubt for England’s next warm-up match, starting in Townsville on Wednesday, November 15, after scans revealed he has sustained a right ankle ligament strain during day two of the four-day tour match against a Cricket Australia XI at the Adelaide Oval.
“The England medical team will assess the injury over the next seven days, and he will play no further part in the Adelaide match.
“National selectors have called up England Lions and Sussex left-arm seamer George Garton as cover in Townsville for the final warm-up match before the first Test, which gets under way at the Gabba, Brisbane, on Thursday, November 23. He will then rejoin the Lions party for their camp in Brisbane and Perth.”
Garton, who made his Sussex debut last year, has since made a fine impression but has only nine first-class appearances to his name. He has been drafted in ahead of promising Middlesex seamer Tom Helm and Test fast bowler Mark Wood, both of whom are understood to be short of full fitness as they continue their recoveries from respective hamstring and heel injuries.