x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Swann and Bresnan fly back home

England will head into next month's World Cup with a bowling attack short on match practice after Graeme Swann's tour of Australia was ended prematurely due to a back injury.

England will head into next month's World Cup with a bowling attack short on match practice after Graeme Swann's tour of Australia was ended prematurely due to a back injury.

Swann will fly home today after he was ruled out for the rest of the seven-match one-day international (ODI) series due to a lower back strain.

The 31-year-old spinner will be the second England bowler to leave the tour in the space of three days after a calf injury ended Tim Bresnan's involvement in the series, which England trail 3-0.

While both are expected to recover in time for England's World Cup opener against Holland on February 22, they are set to go into the tournament short on game time.

Swann's next match will now not be until the group stages as he will not fly to the subcontinent until the eve of the tournament to stay with his pregnant wife. Bresnan will also face a race against time to take part in the warm-up games against Canada and Pakistan on February 16 and 18.

Those matches are also likely to be the first time Stuart Broad bowls competitively for more than two months as he continues his recovery from a stomach injury suffered during the Ashes series.

The right-arm pace bowler rejoined the squad in Australia last weekend but has been restricted to gentle bowling in the nets and will not play in the current ODI series.

That means James Anderson will be the only front-line bowler available in the remaining four matches against Australia. He is available for today's fourth game in Adelaide after his three-week break after the Ashes - a rest period that has proved invaluable given the injury crisis.

"It is best for him to go home and get ready for the World Cup," England team director Andy Flower said of Swann. "It is a big blow because he is an important part of our side."