Liam Dawson ruled out of tour, Joe Denly called up

Allrounder Liam Dawson has been ruled out * of the rest of the England tour by Sri Lanka after suffering a side strain. Joe Denly, who is in the test squad, was called as his replacement.

Dawson, who was in the 11th in the first two games, retired from training on Monday, before the third international match of a day against Sri Lanka in Pallekele. After the injury was evaluated by the medical staff, the decision was made to send him home, with the Player of the Year of the PCA players, Denly, who arrived early in Sri Lanka.

Denly has been preparing for his return to England. After more than eight years, he has been selected for the Test party after two impressive seasons with Kent in which his batting has been rejuvenated and his legs have had surprising success in all formats. He will arrive at Pallekele on Wednesday, hours before the third ODI, and at some point he could win his first one-day cap since the 2009 Champions' Trophy.

England threw three first-line spins at the start of the series: Dawson was Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid joined on the side, so unless Denly gets off the plane and goes directly to the side, it will probably mean a different balance and the possibility of one of the other sealers entering the team. Joe Root's offspin could help cover Dawson's absence if necessary.

Mark Wood, Tom Curran and Sam Curran have been bringing the drinks until after England opted for a major attack and also preferred Olly Stone to share the new ball with Chris Woakes.

Dawson claimed a window in England's victory in Dambulla, pushing through the spikes alongside Moeen to ensure that the mark of 20 was reached before the rain came, which means the result would be kept unnecessarily of the day of reservation. The first windows for Woakes and Stone, during an impressive first international spell, left Sri Lanka far behind the DLS target.

There was an additional visitor to the England training session on Tuesday when a cobra was discovered by the staff behind the pavilion. He retired with the help of a drainpipe and a sack. The players from England had spent part of their downtime in Dambulla approaching the local wildlife around their hotel and on a safari, some posted on Instagram with a python, but it is unlikely that many will offer to get too close in this chance.

It is not the first time, however, that cricketers in England have encountered snakes in Sri Lanka. On the 2007 tour, two were spotted at the edge of the boundary during a warm-up match in Colombo. Matthew Hoggard was among the players interested in a closer look that day.

* 6PM BST – This story was updated with news from Denly replacing Dawson


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