Cricket : Silverwood out of second Test

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The Independent Online
Chris Silverwood has been ruled out of England's Second Test against New Zealand after suffering a deep wound on his right hand while ground fielding during training this morning.

England's physiotherapist, Wayne Morton, said the 21-year-old Yorkshire fast bowler split the webbing between his thumb and forefinger. "The split is about 11/2in deep," Morton said. "He has no chance of playing on Thursday, but we hope he'll be fit for the third Test next week. The timing of the injury is obviously unfortunate."

Silverwood, who had been pressing Alan Mullally for a place in the Test side, needed five stitches in the injury, which came as a jolt to England. They had enjoyed a day off, before resuming training, while New Zealand fretted over the fitness of Chris Cairns.

The all-rounder was nursing his left ankle after twisting it during a benefit match. The Nottinghamshire player was not able to bowl during New Zealand's net practice today and if he cannot practice tomorrow it is unlikely that he will be risked for the Test. Cairns is a vital member of the Kiwi team, sound enough with the bat to go in at No 6, as well as a pace bowler able to act as third or fourth seamer.

Several of New Zealand's Test team, plus England's Alec Stewart and Graham Thorpe, played in the benefit game for the Wellington all-rounder Gavin Larsen - an event which attracted a crowd of 8,000.

Cairns had hit 26 for Larsen's team when he turned his ankle and spent the rest of the day receiving ice treatment. In addition to swelling there is some soft tissue damage, although the injury did not require an X-ray.

While Mike Atherton, the England captain, went fishing, some of his team favoured more exciting relaxation on the go-kart track. A local winery in Marlborough also proved a distraction.

The England coach, David Lloyd, carted his golf clubs to New Zealand's top course, the testing Peraparaumu links just up the coast from here, while he pondered at least one and probably two changes to the Test team. The off-spinner Robert Croft is likely to replace Craig White, but the choice of quicker bowlers is now limited.

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