Reece Topley has emerged as an injury doubt for England’s opening match of the T20 World Cup, against Afghanistan in Perth on Saturday – and potentially beyond – after rolling his ankle on the boundary markings ahead of the team’s warm-up match against Pakistan in Brisbane on Monday.
Topley, 28, has claimed 17 wickets at 28.00 in 16 T20Is in 2022 – more than any other England bowler – to cement his status as one of the key seamers in Jos Buttler’s new-look set-up, with his dual roles in the Powerplay and at the death.
He has done so after overcoming a gruelling series of injury setbacks, including four stress fractures of the back in the space of five years since his fleeting appearance in England’s 2016 T20 World Cup campaign.
This, however, was more of a freak setback, during a fielding drill in the build-up to England’s otherwise comprehensive six-wicket win over Pakistan at the Gabba, as Topley stepped on a triangular boundary marker while attempting a catch.
He did not bowl in the subsequent contest as England rotated eight options in the course of their 19-over fielding stint, and according to an ECB spokesperson, will be assessed throughout the week ahead of the Afghanistan clash on Saturday.
Should his injury prove more serious than hoped, England have options in their reserves – not least his fellow left-arm seamer, Tymal Mills, who was himself replaced by Topley after suffering a groin strain during last year’s T20 World Cup in the UAE.
Lancashire’s Richard Gleeson is also among the team’s travelling reserves, while David Willey and Sam Curran are other left-arm seamers within the original 15-man party.
In better news for England, Liam Livingstone showed no ill-effects after returning from his own ankle injury, sustained during the Hundred in August, as he produced a freeflowing innings of 28 from 16 at the Gabba.