England one-day call for Solanki as Knight drops out

The Warwickshire batsman Nick Knight has been ruled out of England's squad for the International Cricket Council knock-out tournament in Kenya next week and the one-dayseries in Pakistan next month.

The Warwickshire batsman Nick Knight has been ruled out of England's squad for the International Cricket Council knock-out tournament in Kenya next week and the one-dayseries in Pakistan next month.

Knight failed a fitness test on a knee injury yesterday and his place will be taken by Worcestershire's Vikram Solanki.

The chairman of selectors, David Graveney, said: "It is a big blow losing both Nick and Alan Mullally. They are both consistent one-day performers and have been an integral part of our one-day set-up for the last few years. But their absence gives opportunities for other people."

The England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed Solanki's call-up after it was revealed that Knight had not fully recovered from surgery on a torn cartilage. Solanki, 24, was a member of England's NatWest series squad this summer and will fly out to Nairobi with the rest of the one-day squad tomorrow.

Graveney added: "Nick is an important member of our one-day squad and this is deeply disappointing news for all concerned.

"Although Nick's injury is not a long-term one, we felt it would be too much of a risk to retain him in the squad for Kenya and Pakistan in case of further injuries to other players. Vikram Solanki made a good impression with the one-day squad in South Africa and Zimbabwe last winter and this presents him with a furtheropportunity to establish himself at senior level."

Knight damaged his left knee when he fell awkwardly in a National League match against Durham. Although the subsequent operation seemed to have been a success, the knee swelled up again last week and as Knight was unlikely to be completely fit for the opening game of the ICC tournament against Bangladesh on 5 October, England decided to omit him from the tour party.

"I'm massively disappointed and frustrated," said Knight. "I've been in good form all summer. I started the season in the Test team, but just recently I have had to sit and watch too much cricket.

"The knee swelled up a bit last week, but I had the fluid drained off and I thought it was looking pretty good. I did some running on it yesterday and the decision was delayed to see if I suffered any reaction. There wasn't any reaction at all this morning, but as I probably wouldn't have been 100 per cent fit for the first game in Kenya they've decided not to risk me."

A decision on whether Knight will take his place in England's squad for the one-day internationals in Sri Lanka in 2001 will be taken after the Pakistan series.

New Zealand's injury-hit touring team are to rotate their bowlers for the three-match one-day series against Zimbabwe, which was due to start in Harare this morning. The all-rounder Chris Cairns, who has a knee problem, and the left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori, who has a back problem, have already dropped out of the series. Two other bowlers still in the squad, the pace pair Dion Nash and Geoff Allott, are carrying back injuries that have limited their appearances in the past year.

"We have to look at rotating our scarce bowling resources and this means Nash and Allott are unlikely to play in all three one-day internationals against Zimbabwe," the New Zealand coach, David Trist, said.

A shortened batting order was likely in the first one-dayer in Harare to give more bowling options, with the extra bowler likely to be the paceman Daryl Tuffey or the off-spinner Paul Wiseman, Trist said.

Cairns has gone to South Africa for treatment while Vettori has returned to New Zealand to be treated. Cairns may return for the ICC knockout trophy in Kenya, but Vettori will also miss that tournament.

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