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    Jamie Overton's injury creates selection dilemma for England's T20 World Cup team
Jamie Overton's injury creates selection dilemma for England's T20 World Cup team
Jame Overton enjoyed a productive winter on the T20 circuit but will miss Surrey's next Championship game with a back problem. Source: Getty Images

Jamie Overton's injury creates selection dilemma for England's T20 World Cup team

England's selectors must make a difficult decision regarding the potential inclusion of Jamie Overton in their T20 World Cup squad. An inconclusive scan has left the Surrey allrounder uncertain about the extent of a recent back injury.

In a recent ESPNcricinfo article, it was revealed that Overton was in line for a maiden T20I call-up after making significant strides as a short-format allrounder. Rob Key, England's managing director, has been monitoring Overton's progress since his return from injury last summer. Overton said he felt "close" to selection even before Ben Stokes' withdrawal.

He was ruled out of Surrey's County Championship fixture against Kent last week with a back issue, and will not feature against Hampshire this week after initial scans returned unclear results. Overton is scheduled for another scan in two weeks' time after a short period of rest. By that time, England will have named their provisional squad to meet the ICC's May 1 deadline.

England's selection panel, which Key chairs, will meet in the next few days to finalise their 15-man squad. This is likely to double as the group that faces Pakistan in four T20Is from May 22-30. There are a few details to be finalised, with Ben Duckett in contention to be the spare batter and Tom Hartley likely to be selected as the second spinner ahead of Rehan Ahmed.

Jofra Archer is set to be named in the provisional squad and given the opportunity to prove his fitness against Pakistan, over a year after his most recent international appearance. The uncertainty over Overton's injury may also open the door for Chris Jordan to be recalled. Jordan was omitted from the squad that lost 3-2 to the West Indies in December, but has demonstrated consistent performance as a six-hitter over the past 12 months.

The identity of England's wicketkeeper is also open for discussion, given that the ICC's new stop-clock and fielding penalties for slow over-rates make it increasingly challenging for Buttler to captai the side while also keeping the wicket. Phil Salt took over as wicketkeeper in the final two T20Is of England's tour of the Caribbean in December, with Jonny Bairstow as an alternative.

The ECB has not yet publicly indicated whether it will permit England players to remain in the IPL for the knockout stages should their franchises qualify. This would preclude them from participating in the first two Pakistan T20Is. Mr. Buttler, who has recently scored two unbeaten hundreds for the table-topping Rajasthan Royals, is likely to miss the start of the Pakistan series regardless while on paternity leave.

The England squad is expected to be announced on Tuesday morning. The team will have until 25 May, the day of the second T20I against Pakistan, to make changes. However, they will be keen to avoid a repeat of the debacle that occurred last year when Harry Brook was drafted into their 50-over World Cup squad at late notice after his initial omission.

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