The 29-year-old left-hander, who has been suffering from a debilitating back injury which saw him leave the Ashes Tour to Australia, has been cleared by Wayne Morton, the England physiotherapist, in advance of next month's Sharjah one-day tournament.
"Obviously I am a bit apprehensive but the last two months have been pretty tough and the last week has been intense," Thorpe said. "I have had something like 15 nets and my back's really been put through its paces. We are off to Sharjah in 12 days time and I am really looking forward to it."
Surrey are keen to re-sign Saqlain Mushtaq, the Pakistan off-spinner, as their overseas player for 1999. "Saqlain had a great season for us last year and we would like him to come back," said Adam Hollioake, the Surrey captain, said. "We know he would miss the start of the season but our only concern is whether or not he would have to depart before the end of the season on international duty."
n Lancashire suffered an embarrassing collapse in their opening tour match in South Africa yesterday, leaving them on the brink of defeat against Western Province Academy. They slumped to 110 for 8 in their second innings, just 45 ahead going into the final day.