ICL: Indian Cricket League

Hoggard named for Test of Lord despite injury


England have named swing bowler Matthew Hoggard in a 13-man squad for the first Test against Pakistan starting at Lord’s this Thursday despite a freak accident that required six stitches in his bowling hand.

Hoggard, England’s senior bowler, was playing rugby in the warm-up game before the third day of England A’s match against Pakistan on Saturday when Yorkshire teammate Tim Bresnan stood on his hand.

Strike bowler Steve Harmison has been recalled after missing the drawn series against Sri Lanka with a shin injury. Selectors also included three other pacemen in Liam Plunkett, Sajid Mahmood and Jon Lewis as cover for Hoggard.

“We have included five pace bowlers in the squad because we need cover for Matthew Hoggard following the hand injury he sustained while with England A yesterday,” chairman of selectors David Graveney said in a statement on Sunday. “Matthew’s injury will be reassessed by our medical staff on Tuesday and we will give him the maximum time he needs to prove his fitness because he is the most experienced member of our attack.”

The injury to Hoggard, the most durable member of a fragile England pace attack, is the latest in a summer of woe for England after the euphoria of last year’s Ashes win over Australia. Captain Michael Vaughan will miss the return series in Australia this year after a fourth operation on his right knee and fast bowler Simon Jones is also out after a knee operation.

Left-arm spinner Ashley Giles has not played any cricket at all this year after a hip injury that required an operation and all-rounder Andy Flintoff will miss at least the first Test of the Pakistan series with a heel strain.

Flintoff took over from Vaughan as captain in India this year and will lead the side in Australia provided he stays fit. Andrew Strauss, with just two years of test cricket behind him, will captain his country in a Test for the first time on Thursday.

With Flintoff’s enforced absence, batsman Ian Bell has been recalled and will share the fifth bowler’s duties with fellow medium-pacer Paul Collingwood. “You can’t replace Andy Flintoff, he’s irreplaceable,” Graveney said. “Ian Bell will play and he and Paul Collingwood will have to bowl some overs to support the four main bowlers.”

England Test squad: Andrew Strauss (captain), Marcus Trescothick, Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Geraint Jones (w/k), Matthew Hoggard, Liam Plunkett, Steve Harmison, Sajid Mahmood, Jon Lewis and Monty Panesar.

Source:The News

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