Joe Burns’ Ashes chances have taken a hit with the Australian batsman calling time on his stint with English county side Lancashire and heading home “for personal reasons”.
The 29-year-old, who scored a career-best 180 in Australia’s last Test, against Sri Lanka in Canberra, signed as the club’s overseas player as part of his build-up to the Ashes series against England, which starts on August 1.
He was due to be with them for most of the County Championship season, but made just one appearance.
“Lancashire Cricket can confirm that overseas batsman Joe Burns has returned to Australia due to personal reasons, and will now not be available for the club’s 2019 campaign,” it said in a statement.
“Lancashire Cricket wishes Joe all the best, and it would be appreciated if his privacy is respected during this time.”
The reason for his departure was not clear.
Burns has been replaced in the Lancashire squad by fellow Australian Jake Lehmann, son of former national coach Darren Lehmann.