• Australia wait on Wade fitness

    Wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade’s availability for the Australia Ashes squad is in doubt amid an arm injury.

    Wade sustained the injury during the Australia XI’s fixture against the England Lions in Canterbury earlier this week. His right elbow was struck by a rising delivery from seamer Lewis Gregory.

    ‘Matthew went for a precautionary x-ray after taking a blow to his right elbow,’ said team doctor John Orchard.

    ‘The x-ray came back clear, but he’s probably suffering from a bruised nerve from the impact and his grip strength is impaired. Matthew’ll be reassessed, but it’s unlikely he’ll bat again in this innings. However, we’re very hopeful he’ll recover in good time for the Australia-Australia A game next week.’

    The 31-year-old Wade was named in Australia’s preliminary squad for the Ashes earlier this month. The South African-born Marnus Labuschagne and opening batsman Cameron Bancroft were also included.

    Labuschagne has relished a superb stretch of form for Glamorgan in the United Kingdom’s County Championship. Bancroft, whose suspension for ball-tampering during the 2018 tour of South Africa ended late last year, has been playing for Durham.

    ‘Cameron was making a fair amount of headway when he played Test cricket last for Australia and that was in South Africa,’ said chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns.

    ‘I think it’s been well documented that he was our leading run-scorer in South Africa. What he’s done is he’s got on with business since he’s been able to play again, he’s playing with Durham in the County Championship, so he’s doing everything he possibly can to get himself back into consideration and back into the Australian squad.’

    The first Ashes Test will be played at Edgbaston in Birmingham from 1 August. Lord’s, Headingley, Old Trafford and The Oval will host Tests two, three, four and five, respectively.

    Photo: Getty Images

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