Mail Online

Pope ready to shoulder Test skipper’s duties

By Richard Gibson IN BRIDGETOWN

OLLIE POPE’S next action on a cricket field could be as England’s Test captain — an eventuality he says he is prepared for, but not necessarily anticipating.

With England’s first Test of a five-match series against India just seven weeks away and captain Ben Stokes recovering from an operation to fix his long-standing knee problem, any setback in that rehabilitation would result in Surrey batsman Pope leading the team out in Hyderabad.

‘Naturally, when you are vicecaptain there is always a risk that the captain can go down,’ Pope said. ‘Of course that is something that I can think about if it needs to happen, but the feedback I have had from the physios since the surgery has been really positive.

‘Stokesy is doing well, but it would be silly for me not to prepare and think about it and if it is required of me it is something I have pretty decent clarity about.’ Pope, 25, is yet to captain his country and is on the recovery trail himself after dislocating his shoulder in the second Ashes Test last summer.

He was deemed fit enough to be in the squad for this current limited-overs tour of West Indies and the environment has provided ideal warm weather preparation for next month’s trip to the subcontinent. ‘The shoulder has been good,’ he added. ‘It is a stable joint and it can still be sore when I’m throwing, but that’s something I’m going to have to put up with for a while.’

England Women beat India by four wickets in Mumbai yesterday to wrap up a 2-0 T20 series win.

Sophie Ecclestone hit the winning boundary as England chased down India’s total of just 80.





dmg media (UK)