In a significant blow to England’s Test squad, Harry Brook has withdrawn from the upcoming Test series against India, citing personal reasons.
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) officially confirmed this development on Sunday, January 21, revealing that the 24-year-old cricketer will be returning to his hometown from Abu Dhabi, where the team has been undergoing rigorous training sessions ahead of the high-stakes series against India.
According to an official release by the ECB, Harry Brook’s departure is immediate, and he will not be rejoining the squad in India.
The release also conveyed the Brook family’s request for privacy during this challenging period, urging both the media and the public to respect their wish for solitude and refrain from intruding on their private space.
Brook, who has been one of the standout performers for England in Test cricket over the last 18 months, played a pivotal role in the team’s recent successes.
His absence is undoubtedly a setback for England, especially considering the historical challenge of winning a Test series in India, where no visiting team has triumphed in the last 12 years.
The 24-year-old cricketer has been in sublime form, boasting an impressive average of 62.16 from 12 Test matches.
In this period, he accumulated a total of 1181 runs at a remarkable strike rate of 91.76, which includes four centuries.
Notably, Brook was recognised as the Player of the Series during England’s tour of Pakistan in late 2022, where he showcased his batting prowess by amassing 468 runs from five innings at an outstanding average of 93.60.
Brook’s sudden withdrawal comes as a surprise, given his participation in the England camp in the UAE, where the team honed its skills in simulated conditions resembling those of the subcontinent.
The squad, led by captain Ben Stokes, is scheduled to arrive in Hyderabad on Sunday, January 21, in preparation for the opening Test of the series commencing on January 25.
While the ECB is yet to announce a replacement for Brook in the Test squad, his absence will undoubtedly leave a void in the team’s batting lineup.
Despite facing a challenging Australian attack during the Ashes last year, Brook’s contributions were noteworthy, including a crucial 75 in Leeds and a 91-ball 85 at the Oval.
His ability to reach 1000 runs in Tests in just 1058 deliveries across 17 innings further underscored his impact and potential in international cricket.
The ECB is now tasked with finding a suitable replacement to fill the void left by Brook as the team prepares for the challenging series against India.