England bowling woes deepen as Mahmood sidelined for season

FILE PHOTO: England's Saqib Mahmood Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff/File Photo
England's fast bowling contingent was dealt another blow with seamer Saqib Mahmood out for the season with a stress fracture in his back, the cricket board (ECB) said on Monday.

Lancashire bowler Mahmood last played for his county in April and complained of back pain, with scans revealing a fracture.

England return to action next month when world Test champions New Zealand begin a three-match tour at Lord's on June 2 but fellow fast bowlers Jofra Archer and Mark Wood are also sidelined as they continue to recover from elbow surgeries.

"No timeframe has been set for his (Mahmood's) return. His ongoing rehabilitation will be co-managed between Lancashire and England medical teams," the ECB said in a statement on Monday.

The 25-year-old quick, capable of bowling at 90 miles per hour and generating reverse swing with the old ball, made his England Test debut earlier this year in the Caribbean.

Without the experienced James Anderson and Stuart Broad, who were dropped for the tour, Mahmood's debut was the one bright spot in the bowling attack as England lost the three-Test series.