Cricket: Emburey steps back into fray

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The Independent Online
John Emburey is set to step into the breach for England once again today. The 43-year-old Middlesex spinner, who won a surprise Test recall against the West Indies last summer, will be named as 12th man when an under-strength England A face Pakistan A in the third and final one-day match at the new Sheikhupura Stadium.

His inclusion will complete a busy tour for Emburey who, as team manager, has conducted the usual duties of organising and monitoring the players, and has even been seen motivating lethargic Pakistani groundsmen and acting as an emergency scorer in the second one-day contest.

With the tourists down to 11 fit players, Emburey is set to play a part once again as England A look to complete a 3-0 one-day whitewash to go with their 1-0 Test series triumph.

The England A captain, Nasser Hussain, is full of praise for the way Emburey has conducted the tour. He said: "John has left me to run the show as if I've been doing it for 10 years.

"With his great experience he could easily have taken over, but he left me to make most of the decisions myself, which I've enjoyed."

The responsibility has clearly rubbed off on the Essex batsman, whose batting has realised 644 runs in 10 completed innings, including six half- centuries and one century.

Emburey comes in because England A are without the services of four key players from their original party of 15. Jason Gallian has been drafted into the full England squad in South Africa, Jason Pooley has a damaged elbow, and Ian Salisbury and Shaun Udal have returned home for personal reasons.

But at least the young Yorkshire opener, Anthony McGrath, will be given the chance to end his tour on a high. McGrath has made only nine runs in his last five innings and has not played in either of the one-day internationals, but he will definitely play as England A look to end their tour on a high before flying home on Friday.