Rory Burns sustained an injury while playing football in the warm-ups, resulting in ankle damage. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
England are enduring a torrid time in South Africa after a spate of illness and injury. The latest casualty in the whole episode is opener Rory Burns, who sustained an injury in the most unfortunate circumstances. Burns sustained the injury while playing football as part of the warm-up drill before the start of the second Test in Cape Town. Burns was in discomfort and was in pain and this has resulted in him being forced to miss the entire tour of South Africa. Burns suffered serious ligament damage to his ankle after landing awkwardly. This is not the first time that an England player sustained an injury while playing football.
In the past, James Anderson suffered an ankle injury just before the Wellington Test against New Zealand in 2008 while Joe Denly also suffered a football injury. Following the incident, the England team management, led by the Director of England Men's Cricket Ashley Giles and coach Chris Silverwood, have decided to ban football as a warm-up activity. The ongoing tour of South Africa has seen England players getting ill in big numbers.
Ollie Pope, Chris Woakes and Jack Leach were ruled out of the 107-run first-Test defeat in Centurion, while captain Joe Root, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes spent considerable time off the field. Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer missed both warm-up games, and Joe Denly and Mark Wood have also been ill. Archer has suffered an elbow injury while Burns' injury adds to the list. Ben Stokes, in a newspaper column, labelled this tour as a 'cursed tour'.
England lost the first Test in Centurion after a superb display from Quinton de Kock and Vernon Philander. De Kock blasted 95 and Vernon Philander's haul of 4/16 helped South Africa take a 103-run lead. Rassie van der Dussen and some solid batting from the South Africa lower order helped South Africa give England a target of 376, with Jofra Archer taking 5/102. In response, England stayed in the game with Burns hitting 84 and there was good support from Joe Denly and Joe Root. However, Kagiso Rabada took four wickets and Anrich Nortje took 3/56 as South Africa finally opened their account in the ICC World Test Championships.