England pacer Saqib Mahmood ruled out of season due to back stress fracture

England pacer Saqib Mahmood has been ruled out of the season due to a lumbar stress fracture. He will miss the upcoming home series against New Zealand. The 25-year-old had played just one game for Lancashire in the County Championship 2022 where he picked up a four-wicket haul against Gloucestershire. However, since then, he has been left out of the squad to receive treatment for a shoulder injury while he also missed the last game for Lancashire with lower back pain.

Mahmood made his debut for England in Tests this year against West Indies. The 25-year-old has got the skillset to bowl at a good pace. He did impress straight away, picking up six wickets in two games and making some important contributions with the bat as well. With Mark Wood and Chris Woakes injured, this was the best chance for Mahmood to thrive in the home conditions and become a regular in Tests for England, however, he finds himself dealing with fitness issues.

Mahmood had earlier turned down an IPL contract as well with one of the franchises wanting him as a replacement player as he wanted to focus on the longer format for England.

“I spoke to a couple of the guys around me and felt as though it was in my best interests at the moment to focus on red-ball cricket. Hopefully that can highlight my ambition to play Test cricket and to give myself the best chance to do that by performing here for Lancashire,” Mahmood was quoted by ESPNcricinfo.

The first of the three Tests between England and New Zealand starts on June 2 at the Lord’s Cricket Ground. England are yet to name their squad for the series with two new appointments in the camp – Ben Stokes as the captain and Brendon McCullum as the head coach. James Anderson and Stuart Broad are likely to return to the squad as well after missing out on the West Indies tour.