Jamie Overton, the Somerset fast bowler, is expected to miss up to a month of cricket having been diagnosed with a minor muscle tear. Overton felt pain while bowling for Somerset’s 2nd XI last week and, while he hoped the injury was nothing serious, was sent for a scan which revealed the injury in his side.
The news is a blow not just to Overton, but Somerset and potentially England. The England management have made no secret of their desire to add some pace to their Test attack and Overton, who impressed England coach Trevor Bayliss during a fiery spell at Edgbaston a couple of years ago, was one name mentioned as a possible solution.
A succession of injuries has frustrated Overton’s progress, however, and he is now understood to be taking time to settle to an altered action which is designed to reduce stress on his back. Whether it has been helpful to have a speed gun on him in the nets as he recovers is debatable.
Meanwhile it has emerged that Warwickshire have made a 28-day approach for Leicestershire’s fast-bowling allrounder Zak Chappell. Chappell, another of those who might, in time, add some pace to the England attack, was left out of Leicestershire’s side for the first Championship match of the season due to injury, but is expected to play for the club’s 2nd XI in their next match as a specialist batsman. The Warwickshire bowling coach, Graeme Welch, previously worked with Chappell during his spell in the same role at Leicestershire.
Underlining the England management’s difficulty in finding suitable fast bowlers for the Test side, only three of the eight seamers – Jamie Porter, Reece Topley, Toby Roland-Jones, Jamie Overton, George Scrimshaw, Chappell, Tom Barber and Paul Walter – who attended the ECB’s pace programme training camp in Spain just before Christmas took part in the opening round of Championship matches. Of those, Roland-Jones was forced to stop bowling after experiencing back pain (Porter, Walter were the others),
Saqib Mahmood, the highly rated Lancashire seamer, has also been out of action with what the club have described as “a minor abdominal strain”.