Surrey batsman Ollie Pope will leave the England Test squad in order to join the Lions for their tour against Pakistan A in the UAE.
The 20-year-old, who is currently with the senior squad touring Sri Lanka, has become the unwitting victim of clubmate Ben Foakes’ unexpected success on debut.
Pope will now leave the senior party on day one of the second Test due to start on Wednesday in Kandy with a view to securing more competitive action ahead of the tour of the Caribbean in the New Year.
With coach Trevor Bayliss already facing a selection headache among his batsmen, Pope will be released and available for the unofficial Test against Pakistan A starting on November 18 in Dubai and the five unofficial ODIs and two IT20s.
“It is important that Ollie is playing and the selection panel felt that to aid his development the best course of action is for to him to go and play for the Lions in a competitive series against Pakistan A,” said Bayliss
“Ollie needs some game time before the West Indies Test tour early next year and will get more out of playing competitively for the Lions rather than spending the next three weeks in Sri Lanka on the sidelines. He will get the opportunity of playing up to eight matches across all formats in the UAE.”
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