Cricket: Cork left out of World Cup squad

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GAVIN HAMILTON, the Scottish-born all-rounder, is the most eye-catching inclusion in England's 30-man provisional World Cup squad which was announced yesterday.

Hamilton, who entered the reckoning for England honours with a fine second half of the 1998 county season for Yorkshire, and who has also represented Scotland in one-day internationals, is one of two newcomers in the squad.

The other new name is that of Leicestershire batsman Ben Smith, who also enjoyed a fruitful domestic season last summer and is included alongside his county team-mate Darren Maddy and Lanca-shire's Andrew Flintoff, both on the current England A tour of Zimbabwe and South Africa.

The squad, captained by Alec Stewart, also includes all 15 players taking part in the Carlton & United limited-overs series in Australia against the hosts and Sri Lanka.

Derbyshire's Dominic Cork is a notable absentee, left out following poor performances in the recent Ashes series in Australia. The pace bowler Andy Caddick, the middle-order batsman Chris Adams and the opener Mark Butcher are also left out.

Butcher's fellow Surrey left-hander Graham Thorpe - out of England's current reckoning because of a recurrence of his back injury - has been named in the 30. He is joined by another Surrey batsman, Ally Brown, who has often shone at the top of the order in one-day encounters for England.

The squad must be reduced to 19 by the end of next month, and a final 15-man line-up will be announced a month later for the tournament which runs through May and June.

ENGLAND'S PROVISIONAL 30-MAN WORLD CUP SQUAD: A J Stewart (capt, Surrey), M W Alleyne (Gloucestershire), M A Atherton (Lancashire), I D Austin (Lancashire), A D Brown (Surrey), D R Brown (Warwickshire), R D B Croft (Glamorgan), J P Crawley (Lancashire), M A Ealham (Kent), N H Fairbrother (Lancashire), A Flintoff (Lancashire), M V Fleming (Kent), A R C Fraser (Middlesex), A F Giles (Warwickshire), D Gough (Yorkshire), G M Hamilton (Yorkshire), D W Headley (Kent), W K Hegg (wkt, Lancashire), G A Hick (Worcestershire), A J Hollioake (Surrey), B C Hollioake (Surrey), N Hussain (Essex), N V Knight (Warwickshire), D L Maddy (Leicestershire), P J Martin (Lancashire), A D Mullally (Leicestershire), M R Ramprakash (Middlesex), B F Smith (Leicestershire), G P Thorpe (Surrey), V J Wells (Leicestershire).