DAN Lawrence has had his time with the England Lions cut short after fracturing his right hand.

Lawrence had been called up to the international squad after playing a pivotal role in Essex going the 2017 season unbeaten and claiming the County Championship title for the first time in 25 years.

But the 20-year-old has now flown back to England, and will miss the remainder of the Lions’ tour of the West Indies, after fracturing his hand in a nets practice session.

Essex confirmed the news, by tweeting: “Disappointing news for Daniel Lawrence who will now fly home from England Lions duty in the West Indies after fracturing his right hand during net practice on Saturday.”

After sitting out the first two Tests of the three-match series against West Indies A in Jamaica, Lawrence had been set to play in the third match in Antigua which got underway last night.

But the Essex batsman suffered a blow to his right hand during net practice on Saturday, and x-rays have confirmed a fracture which rules him out of both the Test, and the three-match one-day series that follows in Antigua.

The injury comes as a big blow to Lawrence ahead of the new County Championship season, with Essex looking to retain their crown under new head coach Anthony McGrath.

And Lawrence’s absence has also left the Lions with a problem, especially after the international side also lost Liam Livingstone to an ankle injury.

The injuries to Lawrence, Livingstone, Ben Foakes and Mason Crane reduced the Lions squad in the Caribbean to just 13 players.

The Lions were left with just four specialist batsmen, but Lawrence and Livingstone have now been replaced by Sam Northeast and Sam Hain.

Northeast had been due to join the squad later this week, ahead of the one-day series, but the Hampshire batsman was set to make his Lions debut in the final Test at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium last night.

While Lawrence was forced to fly home from the Caribbean after suffering the injury, Essex team-mate Jamie Porter was rested for the clash ahead of the one-day series.

Porter played a key part as Essex won the County Championship’s top flight crown just 12 months after winning promotion to the division.

And Porter, 24, completed the 2017 campaign as the top flight’s leading wicket-taker.

As a result, Porter was tipped for a place in the England Ashes squad - where he would have featured alongside Alastair Cook - at the end of last year.

But Porter is expected to feature heavily in the three one-day clashes with West Indies A.

The two sides will compete in a tour match at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on March 4, before going head-to-head at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in one-day fixtures on March 6, 9 and 11.