England’s Pope will play on after shoulder injury, coach says

LONDON (Reuters): England batter Ollie Pope is likely to continue playing in the second Ashes test at Lord’s despite hurting his shoulder again during the third day’s play on Friday, spin bowling coach Jeetan Patel told reporters.

Vice-captain Pope hurt his right shoulder diving to stop a ball on the first day and left the field to ice it. He then came out and batted in England’s first innings, showing no signs of lasting damage.

On Friday when England emerged for Australia’s second innings, Pope was told by officials that he had to play on, only to hurt himself again when diving to stop another ball.

“He is sore but he should be OK again to bat tomorrow,” Patel said. “He’s never going to turn down an opportunity to bat for England, and with an opportunity to win a game I can’t see Ollie Pope ever saying no to that.”

Patel said it was unclear why Pope was told he had to field on Friday, however, despite having hurt himself.

“We’re a bit bewildered by it all I suppose, we haven’t clarified that yet with the officials,” he added.

As the injury was an external one that occurred during play, Pope would normally have had the option to stay off the field as a precautionary measure. Patel said the fact Pope came out to bat may have been a factor.

“It’s a pretty tough situation when you’ve nearly bust your shoulder and you’re being told it was an external (injury). Is it still an external? – We don’t know,” Patel said.

“But then he goes out and bats the way he did, and the match officials may have changed their decision on how he affects the game,” he said.

“I’m very certain that he’ll bat, and I’m very certain that he’ll bat at No.3, and I’m very certain he’ll be determined to score some runs for England tomorrow.”