Jos Buttler could have played his last Test this year with his second child due imminently and wicketkeeper already ruling himself out of Ashes tour
- England vice-captain Jos Buttler’s wife is pregnant with their second child
- The 30-year-old knew he may miss the final test with India due to the birth
- Buttler may instead miss the fourth match as well as the Ashes later this year
Jos Buttler looks set to miss the rest of England’s summer as well as this winter’s Ashes after captain Joe Root admitted he could not confirm whether he would be available for this week’s fourth Test against India at The Oval.
Buttler admitted last week he might miss the final Test against India at Old Trafford next month as his wife, Louise, is due to give birth to their second child on the day that match starts.
Yet given the final two matches of the series are back-to-back and the due date is so close to The Oval Test, it appears England will allow the 30-year-old to spend the rest of the summer at home.
Jos Buttler could miss England’s entier summer and the Ashes, Joe Root has admitted
Asked about Buttler’s availability this week, Root said: ‘That will be cleared up in the next couple of days. Hopefully we can have some clarity on that and get that across to you as soon as that’s set in stone. I couldn’t tell you honestly either way at the minute. I don’t want to say one thing and it not turn out to be true.’
The move could signal the end of Buttler’s Test career, given last week he admitted he might miss this winter’s Ashes series in Australia because of the uncertainty over whether players’ families will be able to travel to Australia.
Up to 10 England players are considering sitting out the tour, yet Buttler is the only one to publicly state his position, saying: ‘One of the challenges is working out where the line is where you say, “I can’t do that”.
‘I’ve sacrificed a lot for cricket and my wife and family have sacrificed a lot. You have to be open to saying no.
The Englishman’s wife is pregnant and uncertainty over if families can travel is the problem
‘It would be incredibly disappointing if some players feel like they can’t do it, but we’re in a world at the moment where that is a possibility.’
It is understood England are lining up Jonny Bairstow to keep wicket for the fourth Test starting at The Oval on Thursday, with Dan Lawrence, who has been released to play the first two days of Essex’s County Championship game at Glamorgan, set to come in ahead of Ollie Pope.
England are also hopeful that Chris Woakes and Mark Wood will be available for The Oval, after recovering from heel and shoulder injuries respectively.
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