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Ashley Giles paves way for "new faces" in New Zealand series

Ashley Giles paves way for
© Reuters
Ashley Giles suggested players who recently returned from the postponed Indian Premier League into quarantine may be eased back into action gently.

Ashley Giles has paved the way for "new faces" in England's first Test series of the summer against New Zealand.

The managing director of men's cricket at the England and Wales Cricket Board has suggested players who recently returned from the postponed Indian Premier League into quarantine may be eased back into action gently.

Among those currently serving their 10-day isolation time in government-approved hotels are Jos Buttler, Sam Curran and Chris Woakes – who all have red-ball central contracts – as well as the likes of Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali, who featured for the Test side over the winter.

Jos Buttler (right) and Chris Woakes (left) are currently in quarantine.
Jos Buttler (right) and Chris Woakes (left) are currently in quarantine (Dan Mullan/PA)

With Ben Stokes and Dom Sibley currently out injured and Jofra Archer doubtful having just returned to action with Sussex's 2nd XI, the need for possible reinforcements for the June 2 opening Test against the Black Caps is apparent.

Among the pace attack, Archer's uncapped county colleague Ollie Robinson is well fancied to push for a debut following an eye-catching start to the county season while Somerset's Craig Overton, who won the last of his four Test caps in September 2019, has been in superb form. As well as topping the wicket-taking charts with 32 victims at 13.96, the 27-year-old is an improving batsman and may hope to feature as an all-rounder.

Gloucestershire's James Bracey, who has spent much of the past year in England bubbles, is averaging 52.70 and is a viable top order option.

Assessing the likely readiness of the IPL contingent, Giles said: "We're going to treat it on a case by case basis. All these guys are currently in quarantine and have had a number of spells in quarantine and bubbles in this last period.

"We need to look after them, with the amount of cricket they've got coming up, we're not going to rush or force them back into cricket. Chris Silverwood (head coach) will work with each and every one of them, as will our medical teams, on what's best for their progress.

"What we do know, and what's not going to change, is the weight of cricket. Given the Ashes series (next winter), we don't know what conditions that's going to be played in at the moment with regard to a Covid environment, but we are going to need a bigger group of players still. We may also choose against New Zealand to look at some new faces.

"With the amount of other cricket we have to play, we almost want to get this tapering towards the Ashes. We have got to get that right. Is that against New Zealand? I don't know, that's something for us to continue to discuss."

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States22251764
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia12211750
Great BritainGreat Britain11121235
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events

· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

> Today's schedule in full
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