Fourteen members of England’s touring party – 10 players and four backroom staff – have so far fallen ill during the tour of South Africa.
With Joe Root and Jos Buttler both off the field on the third morning of the first Test, you only need to cheat a little bit and pop batting coach Graham Thorpe into the middle order where, let’s be honest, he’d probably do a perfectly adequate job compared to the current lot, to put together a full playing XI. It’s a more balanced team than several England have picked recently, albeit with Headingley hero Jack Leach probably a touch high in the batting order.
England Wild Shits XI: Joe Root (c), Joe Denly, Ollie Pope, Graham Thorpe, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Chris Woakes, Jack Leach, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, Mark Wood.
England have definitely picked worse teams than this.
Fielding coach Carl Hopkinson, security manager Sam Dickason and digital manager Greg Stobart have also been affected.
It doesn’t fully excuse some of England’s more dreadful cricket in Centurion, but it’s certainly mitigation.
The Trinidadian led the warm-up session on day four of the practice match.
Archer took a wicket for Jos Buttler’s team on the second morning at the Ageas Bowl.
Ben Stokes’s side reached 152 for five at tea in response to 287 for five declared.
The decision was supported by Test captain Joe Root and Ben Stokes, who will lead the side in next week’s opening match, but taken by the ECB.
The former West Indies batsman died aged 95 on Wednesday.
Third test against West Indies will be dedicated to raising money.
The Barbados Cricket Association president wanted the Windies head coach sacked after he went to his father-in-law’s funeral.
Holder did not bowl in the first internal warm-up match last week amid doubts over an ankle niggle.
The Gloucestershire wicketkeeper-batsman top-scored with a hard-earned 85 for Jos Buttler’s side.