CRICKET: Injury may end Ilott's England tour

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Board President's XI 333-6 dec and 151-2 England A 247

Mark Ilott will miss England A's first Test against India A this weekend and is doubtful for the rest of the tour because of a worrying side injury.

Only a week ago the Essex fast bowler was leaving Australia after joining Michael Atherton's senior side on a fortnight's stand-by duty.

Now he seems to have been affected by England's winter-long injury jinx to the senior side, which yesterday claimed Darren Gough and Neil Fairbrother in Melbourne.

"Mark is usually a good healer, so let's hope he comes through," Wayne Morton, the England A physiotherapist said. "But he's definitely in no shape to play the first Test of our three-match series here and side injuries are always big problems for fast bowlers.

"He's getting ice and ultra-sound treatment, and trying to do some stretching exercises. I will know more about whether he can recover quickly during the Test in Bangalore."But there is a chance that he may have to go home if he doesn't improve by then."

Morton's diagnosis of an injury Ilott suffered on Sunday was gloomy news on a day when England A struggled to prevent a Board President's XI from moving into a strong position in their match in Madras.

The Indian side start the final day 227 runs ahead after bowling England A out for 247 and then batting with great urgency to reach 151 for 2 in their second innings.

Left-hander Saurav Ganguly is on 54 not out, and has struck sixes off both England A spinners, Ian Salisbury and Min Patel.

nAlan Wells, the England A team captain, has been awarded a benefit by Sussex for 1996.

(Third day; Board President's XI won toss)

Board President's XI - First innings 333-6 dec (V Rathore 59, S C Ganguly 69, R Dravid 84, R Shamshad 78; I D K Salisbury 2-77)

England A - First innings (Overnight 131 for 4)

J E R Gallian st Vaidya b Bahutule 79

D G Cork c Mehra b Chatterjee 27

K J Piper c Dravid b Chatterjee 5

I D K Salisbury c Ganguly b Singh 21

R L Johnson c Ganguly b Singh 26

M Ilott c Rathore b Bahutule 2

M M Patel not out 1

Extras (b6, lb5, nb10) 21

Total 247

Fall: 1-332-80 3-95 4-106 5-159 6-171 7-203 8-240 9-246

Bowling: Ankola 10-2-36-0; Kuruvilla 8-1-23-1; Singh 32-10-56-4; Bahutule29.5-6-65-2; Chatterjee 29-10-56-3.

Board President's XI - Second Innings V Rathore c Wells b Salisbury 42

A Mehra b Patel 18

S C Ganguly not out 54

R Dravid not out 34

Extras (b1, lb1, nb1) 3

Total (for 2) 151

Fall: 1-41, 2-93

Bowling: Cork 14-3-37-0; Johnson 7-2-14-0; Patel 17-5-41-1; Salisbury 7-0-57-1.

Umpires: S Choudry and N Menon.