Cricket: Young given Test debut by Australia

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The Independent Online
Shaun Young, the Tasmanian all-rounder, will win his first Test cap against England at The Oval. Young, who has impressed in his debut county season with Gloucestershire this summer, was told his good news yesterday after Australia's first practice session in preparation for the final Ashes Test, which begins tomorrow.

Young played in the victory against Kent at Canterbury after being called up to join Australia's squad at the end of last week. Mike Kasprowicz has been confirmed as the replacement for the injured Jason Gillespie, while Young comes in for Paul Reiffel.

Devon Malcolm missed yesterday's England's practice at The Oval after being given permission to attend a benefit lunch. Malcolm's absence meant that the England squad gathered in south London was cut to 12, the Glamorgan off-spinner Robert Croft also missing the session because he was due to attend last night's England Cricket Board disciplinary hearing in Bristol.

David Houghton, the Worcestershire coach, is backing his bowlers to come out on top against Allan Donald and colleagues when they tackle Warwickshire in the County Championship derby at Edgbaston today.

Houghton is expecting a wicket loaded in favour of the bowlers in a game vital to both sides' hopes of featuring in the battle for the Championship. Worcestershire are currently the better placed in fourth position - 22 points behind the non-playing leaders, Gloucestershire, and with a game in hand - but a victory for Warwickshire will rekindle their chances.

Houghton, keen to leave Worcestershire in a strong position before he quits New Road to become the national coach of his native Zimbabwe next week, said: "I don't think we have beaten Warwickshire at Edgbaston for a long time in the Championship.''

Worcestershire's former England spinner, Richard Illingworth, could play his first Championship match of the season after suffering a shoulder injury in a Bradford League game at the start of the season, but the former England fast bowler Phil Newport will be out of action for the rest of the season with an Achilles problem.

Another former England player, Warwickshire's opener and vice-captain Nick Knight, is also poised to return after being out of action for seven weeks with a broken little finger. He will lead the side in the continuing absence of the captain, Tim Munton, while the second-choice captain, Andy Moles, will have a late check on his damaged finger.

Second-placed Kent, 10 points behind Gloucestershire with a game in hand, will have their opening batsman, David Fulton, back when they tackle Somerset at Taunton. Fulton broke a knuckle a month ago against Middlesex.

The other key match pits third-placed Glamorgan against Northamptonshire at Abergavenny. The Welshmen, just six points behind Kent, have England Under-19 spinner Dean Cosker standing by to fill in for Croft.

AUSTRALIA (Sixth Test v England, The Oval, starting tomorrow): *M A Taylor, M T G Elliott, G S Blewett, M E Waugh, S R Waugh, R T Ponting, I A Healy, S A Young, S K Warne, M S Kasprowicz, G D McGrath.