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England: Jonny Bairstow set for Test recall in Sri Lanka

Jonny Bairstow

Batsman Jonny Bairstow is set to return to the England Test squad for January’s proposed tour of Sri Lanka after withdrawing from the Big Bash League.

The 31-year-old, who has not played a Test since December 2019, has pulled out of his deal with Melbourne Stars.

England’s two-Test tour of Sri Lanka was cut short in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We wish him well on his recall and England’s winter tours,” said Stars coach David Hussey.

“We’re naturally disappointed Jonny won’t be able to link up with us this season.”

England are expected to play two Tests in Sri Lanka in January but are yet to confirm the squad and schedule.

Bairstow, who averages 37.74 from 70 Tests, was dropped during the tour of South Africa last winter after passing 50 once in 16 innings.

He missed the three home Tests against West Indies and three against Pakistan this summer, and lost his Test central contract for 2020-21 in September.

Bairstow, currently involved in England’s limited-overs series in South Africa, was due to feature in the BBL for the first time.

The 10th edition of Australia’s Twenty20 competition runs from 10 December until 6 February.

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BBC Sport – Cricket