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England in Sri Lanka 2020-21

England in Sri Lanka 2020-21

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ECB insists tour plans continue “as normal” in spite of raft of travel measures against UK

Jacques Kallis has been appointed as England’s latest batting consultant for next month’s Test series in Sri Lanka, a tour that the ECB insists is set to go ahead as planned in spite of the heightened uncertainty over the UK’s latest wave of measures to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.

The ECB last week stepped up its search for full-time appointments for their batting, pace- and spin-bowling coaching vacancies, with applications due to close on January 10, meaning that Kallis’s appointment may be the last consultancy role used by the board. Similar appointments were made for Jonathan Trott during the Pakistan Tests last summer, and Marcus Trescothick on the recent white-ball tour of South Africa.

At this stage, Kallis is not expected to be involved in England’s subsequent Test tour of India – although that may yet change, with the ECB having flagged the need to rotate their options for the foreseeable, to mitigate against the strain of living, practising and playing in bio-secure environments.

With that in mind, Graham Thorpe, England’s regular assistant coach to Chris Silverwood, has been rested for this leg of the winter, but is expected to be back on board for the India tour. Jon Lewis, the former Gloucestershire and England seamer, travels as fast-bowling coach, while James Foster continues as wicketkeeping consultant in the wake of Bruce French’s retirement last summer, as does Jeetan Patel as spin consultant.

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