Cricket: Hussain and Cork discarded

ENGLAND'S QUEST for the Ashes took a back seat briefly yesterday as the squad was announced for the Carlton United one-day triangular series that follows the Tests. The 23-man squad, which will be narrowed down to 18 in January, is pro-bably more noteworthy for who it excluded than for the names that made the rough cut. At a time when the first serious cricket of the winter is about to get under way, both Nasser Hussain and Dominic Cork will feel more than a little aggrieved at not having their air miles and visas extended.

The pair, along with Mark Ramprakash, who last played a one-day game for England in the West Indies eight months ago, and Alistair Brown, recently involved in Bangladesh, must now realise their hopes of being involved in next May's World Cup are fading. Unless they play in Sharjah, where another one-day tournament is scheduled for the end of March, the biggest show in cricket will be a spectacle rather than a personal experience.

The psychology surrounding the timing of the announcement is interesting and the selectors obviously wanted the trio - all key members of the Test side - to deal with their disappointment before the Ashes series began. Yet despite the squad containing new faces like Gloucestershire's Mark Alleyne and Leicestershire's Vince Wells, one cannot help feeling that the squad remains flexible. Unless the selectors remain inflexible, it is inconceivable that either Hussain or Cork would remain excluded should either have a superlative Ashes series.

The presence of Warren Hegg, another relatively new face to one-day cricket, is also revealing and suggests that the selectors consider recent back spasms experienced by Alec Stewart to be rather more serious than admitted. In the recent past it has been John Crawley who has been the back-up, though Hegg's presence will be seen as confirmation that Stewart's demanding triple role is finally catching up with him.

Indeed, David Graveney, the chairman of selectors, virtually acknowledged as much when he said: "Hegg's inclusion is a recognition of the heavy workload faced by Alec."

With England exiting the knock-out tournament in Bangladesh after one match, the selectors will have little to go on when they come to their final pruning session. Whether players like Alleyne, Wells and Dougie Brown remain more than token nods towards geography - see, we do come and watch Unfashionableshire - remains to be seen.

If the selectors are still keen to experiment in the build-up to the World Cup, there can be few more rigorous conditions to test untried players in than a 13-match series involving Australia - confidence high after their clean sweep in Pakistan - and the world champions Sri Lanka. England will need every scrap of home advantage come the World Cup, should they end up being overwhelmed here in January.

Ben Hollioake has been virtually ruled out of England's plans for the opening two Tests of the Ashes series. Hollioake, who turned 21 two days ago, has not featured in any of England's matches since straining his groin batting in the tour opener against an ACB Chairman's XI in Lilac Hill nearly three weeks ago.

Hollioake had his first bowl in the nets yesterday since sustaining the injury last week, but Stewart admitted that his Surrey team-mate was only operating at "around 70 to 80 per cent", so there was no choice but to overlook him against a strong Queensland line-up featuring eight international players.

And, with back-to-back Tests in Brisbane and Perth immediately following this match, Hollioake is resigned to a spell on the sidelines until England face Victoria at the MCG on 5 December. "We wanted to give our more experienced players plenty of cricket before the back-to-back Tests," said the tour manager, Graham Gooch. "It's bad luck on the lad, but we had to be realistic."

Graham Thorpe is also rested as a precaution after his first lengthy innings since his summer back operation, but all four senior seamers - Darren Gough, Cork, Alan Mullally and Angus Fraser - were in the 12-man squad. "We will look at the conditions in the morning but it is likely one of the seamers will be left out," Gooch said yesterday. "The pitch is likely to be a bit damp after all the rain they have had here, but it is much better to be here in the same environment as the Test in Brisbane and we have done everything right in terms of preparation."

England's Test warm-up match against Queensland at Cazeley's Oval here made a stuttering start this morning with the players retiring to the pavilion for 20 minutes after only five balls while the groundsman sought sawdust. The second ball of Darren Gough's opening over struck Matthew Hayden on the hand, and he retired hurt after Gough went sprawling delivering the fifth ball. The bowler led the retreat to the pavilion.

ENGLAND SQUAD (Carlton United one-day triangular series): Stewart (Surrey), Alleyne (Gloucestershire), Atherton, Austin (both Lancashire), Brown (Warwickshire), Crawley (Lancs), Croft (Glamorgan), Ealham (Kent), Fairbrother (Lancs), Fleming (Kent), Fraser (Middlesex), Giles (Warwicks), Gough (Yorkshire), Headley (Kent), Hegg (Lancs), Hick (Worcestershire), A Hollioake (Surrey), B Hollioake (Surrey), Knight (Warwicks), Martin (Lancs), Mullally (Leicestershire), Thorpe (Surrey), Wells (Leics).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleMathematician John Nash inspired the film Beautiful Mind
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine