LONDON: Ollie Robinson added to England’s fast-bowling injury woes ahead of the Ashes and Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne cashed in on the Sussex man’s absence with a hundred for Glamorgan on Saturday.

The 29-year-old Robinson remained off the field with what was later confirmed as an ankle problem when Sussex took the second new ball on the third day of a County Championship match at Hove.

He had bowled an eight-over spell in the morning session of the Second Division match – despite feeling some discomfort the previous evening.

Sussex coach Paul Farbrace said the decision to remove Robinson had been taking jointly with the England management.

England face Ireland in a one-off Test at Lord’s from June 1-4 before the five-match Ashes series against Australia gets underway later that month.

“Ollie has a sore left ankle and he will be scanned on Monday to see how bad he is,” said Farbrace.

The former England assistant coach added: “We got one spell out of him this morning and he tried his hardest. It was a long spell and he got stuck in. He knew it would be one spell and one spell only and then he was off, that was it for the day.

“It was precautionary. There was no point in making it worse…It’s a joint decision between the Sussex medical team and the England medical team.”

Robinson, who revealed he had a pain-killing injection in his back before the start of the domestic season, took career-best match figures of 14-117 for Sussex at Worcestershire this month.

He was included in England’s 15-strong squad to face Ireland, having previously warned Australia they could expect a “good hiding” during the Ashes.

Labuschagne warns Smith as good as when he dominated 2019 Ashes

But express quick Jofra Archer was ruled out of the entire English season earlier this week following a recurrence of a stress fracture in his right elbow while Olly Stone is sidelined with a hamstring problem.

Meanwhile, England great James Anderson, the most successful fast bowler in Test history with 685 wickets, is out of action with a minor groin strain.

England captain Ben Stokes has said he wants at least eight fit fast bowlers he can rotate during a congested Ashes schedule of five Tests in under seven weeks.

As England fretted over Robinson’s fitness, Labuschagne – the world’s top-ranked Test batsman – hit 135, including 16 fours and fours sixes, in his final innings for Glamorgan this season.

Together with Glamorgan captain Kieran Carlson, he shared a fourth-wicket stand of 288 as the visitors overturned as first-innings deficit of 358 to reach stumps on 499-5, a lead of 141.

Labuschagne’s century came after Australia team-mate Steve Smith, playing for Sussex, made 89 on Friday.

Smith and Labuschagne will join up with the Australia squad for the World Test Championship final against India at the Oval in early June.

The showpiece match is also Australia’s lone ‘tune-up’ game before they begin their quest for a first Ashes series win in England since 2001.


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