’s England fast bowler Olly Stone has been ruled out for the rest of the season because of a back injury, ending his chance of being involved in this summer’s Ashes battle.

The former Northants paceman suffered a partial stress fracture to his left lower back on England’s tour of the Caribbean earlier this year.

He aggravated it in training last week but has now received even worse news.

“We’re obviously gutted to lose him,” said sport director Paul Farbrace.

“Olly had such a fantastic season in 2018 and looked set to play an important role for England as well as ourselves this summer after making his Test debut just two weeks ago.

“Being able to bowl consistently at speeds in excess of 90 mph places huge demands on the body.

“With Olly’s season having ended prematurely, he will now work our medical and strength and conditioning teams to get stronger and fitter than ever.”

After taking 3-29 on his Test debut against Ireland and smashing a quick 19 in the first innings with the bat, Stone was named in the 14-man squad for the Ashes opener against at Edgbaston, but was then left out of the starting XI.

He is the second England player to be ruled out for the rest of the campaign for luckless , after the loss of batsman Ian Bell for the entire season was confirmed little over a fortnight ago.


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