England spinner Ashley Giles hopes to return to cricket next month and put his injury misery behind him.
Hip and hernia problems have dogged the Warwickshire left-armer, a key member of Englandâ€™s Ashes-winning side last year, in recent times and he has ruled himself out of the three-Test series starting against Sri Lanka here at Lordâ€™s on Thursday.
But he hopes to be ready for the first Test against Pakistan, the second team touring England this year, which starts at Lordâ€™s on July 13.
â€œWe think weâ€™ve got to the bottom of my problems. It seems to be a dodgy groin,â€ Giles told a reception at the Houses of Parliament on Tuesday to officially launch this summerâ€™s international cricket programme.
The 33-year-old said his injury has been diagnosed as â€œa Gilmour groin â€” a type of hernia.â€
He added: â€œIâ€™ve had the hip problem and the hip problem is still there. Which came first - the groin or the hip? One couldâ€™ve had an effect on the other. But hopefully weâ€™ve got to the bottom of it and hopefully in five weeks I can start playing cricket.â€
Meanwhile, with England facing a packed schedule in the run-up to the defence of the Ashes in Australia, Giles said it was vital everything was done to keep key players, such as all-rounder and stand-in captain Andrew Flintoff, fully fit.
â€œWeâ€™ve to keep the key players fit,â€ said Giles, who is currently joined on the sidelines by injured captain Michael Vaughan and the crocked pace trio of Stephen Harmison, Simon Jones and James Anderson.
â€œIt puts more pressure on the senior guys still in the side. The one we are talking about is Andrew Flintoff. You canâ€™t be losing Flintoff coming into the Ashes. Heâ€™s that much of a good player but itâ€™s a difficult balance.â€
Englandâ€™s chairman of selectors, David Graveney, said it was important that new players were bedded in before the Ashes. â€œWe see some of the young guys like Alistair Cook who we think will be playing a part in Australia. We need to give him as much experience as we possibly can.
â€œWeâ€™ve some fantastic depth. Now our job is difficult for the right reasons, that weâ€™ve lots of people to select from.
â€œI mentioned the word rotation some months ago and weâ€™ve to deliver our guys physically fit to play Australia because thatâ€™s what the cricketing public deserve,â€ Graveney added.
Looking ahead to the Sri Lanka series, Giles said: â€œOver here you are looking to dominate with your quick bowlers. Sri Lanka are not used to playing the ball at chest height, particularly against somebody quick like Andrew Flintoff.â€
But he warned that star Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan would be a threat in all conditions. â€œMuraliâ€™s going to be a handful. It might be his last trip to England. We all love to see him bowl and hope he has a relative amount of success â€” but that England win three-nil,â€ Giles stated.
Source:The NewsMore on:Ashley Giles, england, Pakistan in England 2006
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