Belfast Telegraph

Joe Hart misses England win over Sweden to play cricket for Shrewsbury

Hart was left out of England’s 23-man World Cup squad.

Joe Hart opted not to cheer on England against Sweden on Saturday and played cricket for hometown club Shrewsbury instead.

Hart, 31, omitted from Gareth Southgate’s 23-man squad for Russia 2018, turned out for Shrewsbury Cricket Club while the Three Lions secured their place in the World Cup semi-finals with victory over the Swedes.

The Manchester City goalkeeper, batting at number nine, made six before being caught out as Shrewsbury lost by one wicket in their home Birmingham League Premier Division match against Knowle & Dorridge.

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Hart (left) made a couple of costly errors at Euro 2016 (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Hart, who also held a catch to remove visiting batsman Ethan Brookes, played cricket for his local club as a youngster before focusing on his football career at Shrewsbury Town.

He has 75 caps for England, but made two costly errors at Euro 2016 in games against Wales and Iceland and has struggled to recapture his best form since.

City boss Pep Guardiola dropped Hart down the pecking order when he arrived at the Etihad Stadium in 2016, choosing Willy Caballero and Claudio Bravo instead.

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Hart’s future at the Etihad under Pep Guardiola is unclear (Dave Howarth/PA)

Hart went out on loan to Torino for the 2016/17 campaign and, after spending last season on loan at West Ham, will return to City for pre-season training next week.

He played in nine of England’s 10 World Cup qualifiers, but missed out on a squad place for the finals as Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope were all given the nod.

Hart’s last England appearance was in the goalless draw against Brazil in a friendly at Wembley in November 2017.

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