England's most prolific wicket-taker in Test history, James Anderson, is to miss the tour of Bangladesh with a shoulder injury.
The team will fly out from England today, with Anderson staying home to rest a problem that flared up during the summer, causing him to miss the Lord's Tests against Pakistan. He will hope to be fit for the second tour of the winter in India.
Anderson is joined on the sidelines by Mark Wood, who had returned to the side in the one-day internationals this month but has suffered a recurrence of left ankle problems. His extra pace and ability to reverse swing the ball could have been a major asset on slow sub-continental pitches. However, he too hopes to be fit for India.
The tour will begin with three one-day internationals (ODIs) before concluding with two Test matches. Anderson would not have played in the limited-over games anyway, but Wood might.
Steven Finn will now take Wood's place in the one-day squad, with Jake Ball being added to the Test squad. The selectors will also consider adding another seamer at a later date.
Fans booking corporate hospitality for the ICC Trophy match at the Kia Oval on June 1st between England and Bangladesh may be keeping a particularly close eye on the action over the next few weeks.
With the spin attack low on quality, England's faster bowlers may be the key to victory on benign surfaces against opponents whose own bowling attack of modest ability will rely heavily on its spinners, particularly captain and star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan. While Bangladesh will continue to struggle with the ball, however, their batting is much improved from their early years as a Test nation, with the likes of Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudullah and Mominul Haque all capable of playing outstanding innings.
However, Bangladesh has suffered disappointment in their preparations after losing an ODI to Afghanistan by two wickets in Mirpur to draw the series 1-1. The home side stumbled to 208 all out and the visitors scraped home despite Shakib taking 4-47.
By Sam Coates