Cowan, 31, was out for zero and 14 in the first Test at Trent Bridge, which England won by 14 runs. The left-hander has in all played 18 Tests and only scored a century and six fifties. He was replaced by Usman Khawaja, another left-hander, five years his junior. Khawaja has played in just six Tests and scored one half-century.
The 23-year-old Starc, the left-arm paceman, has benched in favour of Ryan Harris, 33, who has taken 47 wickets from just 12 Tests and 44 wickets from 21 one-day internationals.
Starc has taken 35 wickets from 10 Tests but was not in the best of form in Nottingham.
Meanwhile, England have dropped Steven Finn and replaced him with fellow fast bowler Tim Bresnan. Finn proved expensive in both innings of the first Test while only taking two wickets.
Ryder wants to 'get back on the horse'
Jesse Ryder, the New Zealand batsman, has recovered from a vicious assault and is eager to resume playing cricket, hoping that a move to Otago from Wellington will reinvigorate his international career, his manager said on Thursday.
The burly left-hander was beaten up outside a Christchurch bar in March, an attack that left him in a coma with a fractured skull. Two men were charged with assault and have pleaded not guilty.
The 28 year old, who has stepped back from international cricket following a well-publicised battle with alcohol and disciplinary problems, will move from Wellington to link up with Vaughn Johnson, his former coach, at Otago.
"At some point, Jesse needs to get back into international cricket," Ryder's manager Aaron Klee told the Otago Daily Times. "He just needed some time to sort himself out.
"We're getting close to that point.
"After what happened in Christchurch, we realised there wasn't much point sitting around. It's time to get back on the horse and get the career charging again."
Sri Lanka T20 league scrapped
Sri Lanka's cricket administrators scrapped their Twenty20 league late on Wednesday after franchise holders defaulted on payments for the tournament and failed to guarantee payments to players, a top official told Agence France-Presse.
Sri Lankan Cricket decided not to go ahead with the Sri Lanka Premier League (SLPL) tournament and sack the seven franchise holders who failed to pay up, SLPL director Ajit Jayasekera said.
"We will not have the tournament this year because the seven Indian franchise holders did not pay despite verbal and sometimes written assurances that they will," Jayasekera said. "We could not go on indefinitely.
"We had to decide. And we have decided to terminate franchise agreements and not have the tournament this year," he said.
Jayasekera said the authorities hoped to come up with a new model for a Twenty20 tournament next year.
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