Josh Tongue will miss England’s upcoming white-ball tour of the Caribbean due to an injury sustained during the England Lions training camp in the United Arab Emirates.
Matthew Potts steps in for the three-match ODI series starting on December 3 in Antigua. However, there’s no replacement announced yet for the five T20Is scheduled from December 12-21.
This setback is disappointing for Tongue, aged 26, who showcased his skills in two Test matches at Lord’s during the 2023 home summer. He had high hopes for making his mark in white-ball cricket across various formats as England aims to bounce back after a lackluster World Cup campaign in India.
Tongue’s ability to produce tricky bounce at speeds nearing 90mph earned him recognition in the England setup. He recently secured a lucrative two-year ECB central contract, emphasizing his value to the team.
In a conversation with ESPNcricinfo last week, Tongue emphasized his eagerness to refine his white-ball abilities during the Caribbean tour. Despite playing only 15 List A and T20 domestic games compared to 50 first-class appearances, including 47 for Worcestershire, he was keen to make an impact.
If he recovers from his injury, Tongue’s chance for England recognition might arise during the five-Test series in India, set to commence in January. He highlighted how his pace and ability to make the ball reverse, along with his bouncer tactics, could be beneficial in subcontinental conditions.
As for Potts, this last-minute inclusion offers him an opportunity to expand on his limited exposure to England’s white-ball cricket. He had a debut ODI against South Africa in 2022 and two more appearances against Ireland just before the World Cup, one of which was affected by rain.
Potts, like Tongue, earned a two-year ECB contract for 2023-24 after impressing with his dedication during his maiden Test summer in 2022. He grabbed 20 wickets at an average of 28.00 in five matches that year and made another appearance against Ireland at Lord’s in June.