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Saturday June 22, 2024

PAK vs ENG: England captain set to miss 3rd T20 to be with wife on child birth

Vice-captain Moeen Ali in line to lead England at Sophia Gardens instead

By AFP
May 28, 2024
England captain Jos Buttler pictured with his wife and two children. — England Cricket/File
England captain Jos Buttler pictured with his wife and two children. — England Cricket/File

LONDON: England captain Jos Buttler won't be playing today's Twenty20 international against Pakistan as he had left the squad to be with his wife, who will has given birth to the couple's third child.

The 33-year-old England captain struck a match-winning 84 as the hosts took a 1-0 lead in the rain-affected four-game series with a 23-run win in Birmingham on Saturday.

But he is now set to miss today's T20 in Cardiff, with vice-captain Moeen Ali in line to lead England at Sophia Gardens instead.

Ben Duckett could be brought in to open in Buttler's absence or England could promote Will Jacks from No 3 after he made 37 off 23 balls against Pakistan at Birmingham's Edgbaston ground.

Surrey all-rounder Jacks recently returned from a stint in the T20 Indian Premier League, where he made a dashing unbeaten hundred to lead Royal Challengers Bengaluru to a nine-wicket win over Gujarat Titans.

If he were to move up the order for England on Tuesday, Jacks would be opening the batting alongside Phil Salt, a player he knows well from their time in franchise cricket.

"I think we're both very comfortable," Jacks told Sky Sports. "Me and Phil have played a lot of cricket together — we've played franchise cricket together which definitely helps when we come to England.

The 25-year-old added: "We understand each others' games very well and we're both that kind of free-flowing, top-order batters everyone has nowadays."

This series, which concludes at The Oval in London on Thursday, is serving as a warm-up for the T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and the United States, with reigning champions England starting their title defence against Scotland in Barbados on June 4.