England v New Zealand: Ben Foakes out of third Test after testing positive for Covid-19

Ben Foakes
Ben Foakes was playing his 14th Test

England wicketkeeper Ben Foakes has been ruled out of the final two days of the third Test against New Zealand after testing positive for Covid-19.

Foakes, 29, did not keep wicket on day three at Headingley on Saturday because of a stiff back with Jonny Bairstow taking the gloves in his place.

England say after further medical assessment he has tested positive for coronavirus.

Kent’s Sam Billings will now replace Foakes as a Covid-19 substitute.

While the series is not being played in Covid-19 bubbles, players are still required to isolate if they test positive for the virus.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson missed the second Test at Trent Bridge and England batting coach Marcus Trescothick is absent in Leeds after a positive test two days before the match.

Foakes was out for a duck in the first innings in Leeds but made 107 runs across the first two Tests, including an important unbeaten fifty in England’s win in the first Test at Lord’s.

England hope he will be fit for the rearranged Test against India which starts on Friday at Edgbaston.

Billings, 31, made his England debut in the fifth Ashes last in Hobart in January after a series of injuries. He will keep wicket on Sunday, rather than Bairstow.

New Zealand will resume on 168-5 in their second innings with a lead of 137 runs.

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