Cricket: Gough out of First Test

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ENGLAND WILL be without their strike bowler Darren Gough for the opening Test against New Zealand on Thursday week because of a calf strain he picked up during the World Cup.

The 28-year-old Yorkshire pace bowler did not appear for the first division leaders in yesterday's CGU National League match against Essex at Headingley, when it was revealed that he had been ordered to rest after the injury had failed to heal despite a two-week break.

Gough, whose 10 wickets made him one of England's few successes in the World Cup, played in Yorkshire's National League fixture against Hampshire two days after the elimination by India but then missed two rounds of the PPP Healthcare County Championship. The problem flared up again when he made his comeback against Sussex last week. A prescription for rest, treatment and rehabilitation ordered by the Yorkshire physio Caryl Becker has been approved by the England management.

Martyn Moxon, Yorkshire's director of coaching, said yesterday: "Darren developed the problem during the later stages of their World Cup programme. He had a couple of weeks' rest but he felt the calf again during the Sussex game. The England physio and management team are in full agreement with the proposed treatment. You cannot say how long these things will take but I would guess at least two or three weeks."