23 Jul 2009

Ashes series over for England's top batsman

8:39 am on 23 July 2009

English cricket's hopes of regaining the Ashes from Australia have been dealt a serious blow with their top batsman Kevin Pietersen ruled out of the rest of the series.

The 29-year-old Pietersen has undergone surgery on his Achilles tendon injury which hampered him during the second Test, and he's been ruled out of all cricket for six weeks.

Ian Bell will be favourite to replace Pietersen who says he's absolutely devastated about having to sit out the last three Tests.

The England team will have their fingers crossed even more firmly now, hoping all-rounder Andrew Flintoff's knee injury holds up until the end of the series.