IPL: Indian Premier League 2009

Australians denied chance to face Finn


England have prevented Australia gaining first-hand knowlege of Steven Finn ahead of the Ashes by ruling him out of the one-day series with Ricky Ponting’s world champions which starts later this month.

The gangly Middlesex fast bowler was named man of the series in England’s 2-0 Test win over Bangladesh after taking 15 wickets in his first two home Tests. That included a return of five for 42 at Old Trafford on Sunday in a crushing innings and 80 run win, completed inside three days.

Finn is already being tipped to prosper when England defend the Ashes in Australia, starting in November. The selectors justified the omission of the 6ft 8in (2.03m) Middlesex quick from the Australia one-dayers by saying the 21-year-old needs to undergo strength work.

But his absence also means Australia’s batsmen won’t face Finn, who only made his Test debut in Bangladesh in March. Finn got his chance at home to Bangladesh partly through the absence of fellow fast bowler Stuart Broad.

Now a regular for England in all three international formats, Broad was pulled out of county commitments, as well as the one-dayers, to undergo conditioning work.

Geoff Miller, England’s national selector, said on Monday: “Steven Finn has had an impressive start to the summer and will now undertake a strengthening programme similar to that recently undertaken by Stuart Broad.

“This will also rule Steven out of the NatWest Series against Australia and Bangladesh before his preparation for the npower Test series against Pakistan.”There had been speculation that Test captain Andrew Strauss could also be left out of England’s one-day team.

The opening batsman missed England’s World Twenty20 final victory over Australia in Barbados last month as, like Ponting, he has opted out of cricket’s shortest format.That led to suggestions that England, skippered in the Caribbean by Paul Collingwood, should deploy their Twenty20 opening duo of Michael Lumb and Craig Kieswetter in the 50 overs per side game.

But Strauss reaffirmed on Sunday his determination to captain England at next year’s World Cup in Asia.And former England off-spinner Miller appeared to confirm Strauss’s one-day berth by announcing on Monday that the Middlesex left-hander would be rested from county Twenty20 matches from June 7-15 so as to better prepare him for the Australia series.

“We believe the best preparation for Andrew Strauss’s build up to the NatWest series does not involve the Friends Provident T20 fixtures and as such he won’t be available for these matches during this period,” Miller said.

Meanwhile Graeme Swann, who in common with Broad and Collingwood has become a mainstay of the England team at Test, one-day and Twenty20 level, has also been barred from county duty.

“Graeme Swann is in need of a well-earned break and as a result won’t play any cricket during this period,” Miller explained. England face Australia in five One-day Internationals, starting at Hampshire’s Rose Bowl ground on June 22 before taking on Bangladesh in three one-dayers between July 8-12. They then face Pakistan in four Tests starting at Trent Bridge on July 29.

Source:Cricket News

Image Source:Cricinfo

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