Olly Stone has been ruled out for the rest of the English summer after suffering another stress fracture to the lower back, his third in as many years. Stone was due to be named in England's ODI squad for their upcoming three-match World Cup Super League series against Sri Lanka, which starts on June 29, but the injury has opened the door for George Garton, the Sussex left-arm seamer, to be included in a full squad for the first time.
Stone suffered the injury following England's second Test against New Zealand at Edgbaston, in which he took three wickets for 97 runs. It is the latest in a cruel run of injuries that has blighted his career, and leaves his prospects of playing in the T20 World Cup and the Ashes this winter in doubt.
Garton has been a regular in England Lions' white-ball plans since he was 19, and was added to the touring party ahead of the first Ashes Test in 2017-18 as cover after impressing in the nets. He missed the 2018 summer after picking up a side strain while picking a suitcase off a baggage carousel at Los Angeles airport, but has made significant strides since: across the last two T20 Blast seasons, he has taken 22 wickets at 13.54 with an economy rate of 6.93, and has also contributed with the bat as a finisher and in the field.
"It is a great shame as Olly was showing real promise with the ball and would have been part of our selection plans for this series," Chris Silverwood, England's coach, who will hand over the reins to Graham Thorpe, his assistant, during the ODI series, said.
"We have been monitoring the progress of George Garton for quite some time. He has been a significant part of Sussex's bowling unit in white-ball cricket for an extended period. His ability to bowl quick, with his point of difference being a left-armer, certainly gives us options in this series, and he deserves his chance at this level."
England are also missing Jofra Archer (elbow injury), Reece Topley (side strain) and Saqib Mahmood (abdominal strain), who Silverwood said were making "excellent progress".
Meanwhile, Ben Stokes is due to make his return to cricket after being out with a hand injury on Sunday, when he plays for Durham against Birmingham Bears in the Vitality Blast. Stokes has not played competitively since the Rajasthan Royals' opening game of the IPL, when he suffered the injury while taking a catch. Stokes is targeting an international return in the T20I series against Pakistan, which starts on July 16.
Jonny Bairstow has been named in the squad despite suffering an ankle injury during Yorkshire's win at Worcestershire on Wednesday, after which he left the ground with a moon boot. There are only two changes from the T20I squad named last week, with Garton and Joe Root replacing Chris Jordan and Dawid Malan.