Ben Foakes ruled out of rest of Headingley Test with Covid as England call up Sam Billings

·1 min read
Ben Foakes keeping wicket for England - GETTY IMAGES
Ben Foakes keeping wicket for England - GETTY IMAGES

Ben Foakes tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday night and was replaced in England’s team for the ongoing third Test against New Zealand by Sam Billings.

Foakes had initially complained of back stiffness, and did not take the field on the third day at Headingley. But a subsequent Covid-19 lateral flow test revealed that he had tested positive for Covid.

Billings, who played his one previous Test against Australia in Hobart in January, was drafted in as a like-for-like replacement and is keeping wicket on the fourth day in Leeds.

Kent wicketkeeper Billings, who is 31, scored 29 and one in his only previous Test.

Under International Cricket Council regulations, he will be free to play a full part in the remainder of the Test, meaning that he can bat during England’s run chase if required. Billings will slot into Foakes’ berth at No 7 in the order.

The rest of the England party will follow health protocols of symptom reporting and subsequent testing if required. There are no other positive cases in the camp, although batting coach Marcus Trescothick tested positive before the third Test.

If Foakes is ruled out of England's next Test against India at Edgbaston on Friday, Billings would be in competition for a berth with Yorkshire’s Harry Brook who could slot in as a specialist batsman with Jonny Bairstow keeping wicket.