Cricket: No new deals to keep Andrew Strauss in the team
Cricket is on the brink of another major shake-up in the squad, with the team still missing the services of the captain Andrew Strauss and will be without one of their two bowlers, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation.
The decision comes after the England captain failed to convince the ECB of his ability to carry the team on his own after being ruled out of the tour of South Africa in November.
Strauss, who has won two Test centuries and two Twenty20 matches, has been told he can return to the squad if he is deemed fit by the governing body and has been on a shortlist of potential replacements.
Sources familiar with the situation say the ECB has also offered to take on Strauss’ contract in the off-season, but he has yet to accept.
The ECB’s move comes as Strauss is expected to be one of the leading candidates for the captaincy, given his success at international level and his experience at the top of the Australian order.
Strauss’ career has been blighted by the illness that limited him to only 17 Test matches in the past two years.
After suffering a broken finger in a domestic one-day international in 2015, Strauss was left out of England’s tour of India and South Africa, and the tour to England in November was the first time he has missed out on a Test match since 2012.
While Strauss’ international status was assured for the majority of his career, a fractured hand in 2016 cost him two Tests in the series against England and Australia.
His struggles with a chronic knee injury have also kept him sidelined since the 2016 World Cup, and he has been ruled out for three months this year after undergoing a partial reconstruction of the ACL in his left knee.
“If Andrew is going to be back in the side, then we’ve got to find a way to get him back,” England coach Steve Smith said.
He said Strauss’ health was a “priority” as England prepare to play India in India on November 27.
Smith also said that Strauss was a player who could be given the opportunity to take the England Test team to India and the World Cup if he was fit.
However, Strauss has yet for a full-time place in the England squad, and sources say that he has expressed a desire to play for Australia at the next World Cup.
Strauss, who was on the verge of joining the Australia side this summer, has yet the offer to play in England’s World Cup squad, despite his limited involvement in the Test side.
One source close to the England management said Strauss is unlikely to be involved in the Ashes series in India this year, given the conditions of the tournament.
England have also been given the option of waiting to make a final decision on Strauss’s contract until after the Test series against India is over, according, sources said.
Strauss is the third player to be offered a full time Test role by the England side this year.
New Zealand skipper Glenn Maxwell was given a new contract with the bat, while England’s Shane Watson was offered a three-year deal.
Australia have also had talks with other players, including James Pattinson, about their futures and have been linked with several other options.
If a player is given the captain’s armband, it’s unlikely they’ll be asked to take a Test debut in England this summer.
Follow ESPNcricinfo on Twitter