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LONDON: Jos Buttler has left the England squad ahead of Tuesday’s Twenty20 international against Pakistan to be with his wife, who is about to give birth to the couple’s third child.

The 33-year-old England captain struck a match-winning 84 as the hosts took a 1-0 lead in the rain-affected four-game series with a 23-run win in Birmingham on Saturday.

But he is now set to miss Wednesday’s third T20 in Cardiff, with vice-captain Moeen Ali in line to lead England at Sophia Gardens instead.

Ben Duckett could be brought in to open in Buttler’s absence or England could promote Will Jacks from No 3 after he made 37 off 23 balls against Pakistan at Birmingham’s Edgbaston ground.

Archer, Buttler star as England beat Pakistan in second T20

Surrey all-rounder Jacks recently returned from a stint in the T20 Indian Premier League, where he made a dashing unbeaten hundred to lead Royal Challengers Bengaluru to a nine-wicket win over Gujarat Titans.

If he were to move up the order for England on Tuesday, Jacks would be opening the batting alongside Phil Salt, a player he knows well from their time in franchise cricket.

“I think we’re both very comfortable,” Jacks told Sky Sports. “Me and Phil have played a lot of cricket together – we’ve played franchise cricket together which definitely helps when we come to England.

The 25-year-old added: “We understand each others’ games very well and we’re both that kind of free-flowing, top-order batters everyone has nowadays.”

This series, which concludes at The Oval in London on Thursday, is serving as a warm-up for the T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and the United States, with reigning champions England starting their title defence against Scotland in Barbados on June 4.

Archer rest

England fast bowler Jofra Archer could be rested for the Cardiff match ahead of the Oval finale.

Archer has been beset by elbow injuries since his starring role in helping England win the 50-over World Cup in 2019.

But the 29-year-old marked his long-awaited return to international cricket by taking two wickets at Edgbaston after a washed-out series opener in Leeds.

Archer, on his first international appearance for 14 months, and first on home soil since 2020, bounced back from an expensive first over, which went for 15 runs, to finish with 2-28 as Pakistan were dismissed for 160.

Fellow fast bowler Mark Wood is the most likely replacement for Archer but Jacks was pleased to see the Sussex paceman back in international action.

“It’s great for all English fans, even cricket fans all over the world – everyone wants to see him (Archer) bowl,” Jacks said. “It’s been a while and to see him even come back from how he got hit in his first over is impressive.

“He’s been bowling good speed in the nets, good speed in the middle, good yorkers at the death – he’s a massive asset for us and we love to have in him our team.”

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