Illness strikes England cricketers in South Africa:
England Cricket has called up medium-fast bowler Craig Overton and off-spinner Dom Bess for England’s Test squad ahead of their first Test match, which is set to start from the Boxing Day in Centurion. Overton and Bess will likely arrive in Johannesburg on Saturday morning.
The sickness bug affected several members of the touring party. Jofra Archer, Jack Leach, and Stuart Broad are among those who were affected by the illness. The ongoing tour match between England and South Africa A was downgraded from the first-class status to a 3-day friendly match with 11 players batting or fielding at a time, due to several members of the playing XI suffering from the illness.
? BREAKING NEWS ?
We have called up two players to our Test squad in South Africa due to illness in the camp.
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) December 20, 2019
ECB has thanked CSA for their flexibility on the situation and emphasized that they would have wanted to play the match first-class, but illness in the camp has made this very problematic, according to England and Wales Cricket Board’s spokesperson.
Craig Overton and Dom Bess called up as cover:
The Boxing Day Test starts in less than a week, but England has taken the precaution to call up Craig Overton and Dom Bess as cover for the affected players.
25-year-old medium-fast bowler Craig Overton made his debut in December 2017 and has claimed 9 wickets in 4 Tests, while 22-year-old off-spinner Dom Bess made his Test debut in May 2018 against Pakistan, and has taken 3 wickets in 2 Tests.
Both players have played for Somerset in the recent Specsavers County Championship Division One.
England and South Africa will play 4 Test matches as part of the ICC World Test Championship. The 1st Test will start on 26 December in Centurion. Both teams will also face each other in 3 ODIs, starting from February 4 at Cape Town.