The Somerset duo of Craig Overton and Dom Bess have been called up to England’s Test squad in the wake of ‘widespread illness’ in the party, who are in South Africa for the four-Test series.
According to a statement issued by ECB on Friday, the duo will land in Johannesburg on Saturday – five days ahead of the Boxing Day Test in Centurion.
England’s three-day tour game against South Africa A starting today will be played without first-class status as several English players are set to miss out with the bug. These players are reported as being Stuart Broad, Jofra Archer and Jack Leach.
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) December 20, 2019
“ECB would like to take this opportunity to thank CSA for their flexibility on this situation and to emphasise that under normal circumstances we would have wanted to play the match first-class, but illness in the camp has made this very problematic,” a board spokesperson said.
Bess has played two Tests for England, while Overton has experience of four Tests – the last of which came in the 2019 Ashes Test at Old Trafford, where Australia retained the urn by claiming a 2-1 lead in the series.
Bess took 26 wickets from 11 games at 26.19 with his off-spin in this year’s County Championship, while seam bowler Overton sparkled with 37 wickets from just 10 games at 21.89.