England Test men return for Surrey

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The Independent Online

Today's county programme is enhanced by returning internationals, and the England batsmen Mark Butcher and Graham Thorpe are included in the Surrey squad for the County Championship First Division match against Warwickshire.

Today's county programme is enhanced by returning internationals, and the England batsmen Mark Butcher and Graham Thorpe are included in the Surrey squad for the County Championship First Division match against Warwickshire.

Butcher and Thorpe are set to feature ahead of the first Test against New Zealand next week. Rikki Clarke returns after his involvement in the one-day series in the Caribbean, but Alex Tudor continues his recovery from a back injury with another appearance for the second XI.

James Anderson is in line to make his first County Championship appearance of the season when Lancashire host Worcestershire at Old Trafford.

The seamer, back in the country following England's one-day series in the Caribbean, is named in a 14-man squad which also includes Peter Martin. He missed the draw with Middlesex for personal reasons. Kyle Hogg and Sajid Mahmood are the most likely bowlers to make way, with Steven Crook, 12th man at Lord's, not expected to feature.

Warwickshire are at full strength for their game with Surrey at Edgbaston. The England spinner Ashley Giles, available after returning from the West Indies, is expected to play in the run-up the first Test against New Zealand next week.

"It is great to be back at Edgbaston and I am excited to be playing in such a high-profile game against Surrey," said Giles. The coach John Inverarity may decide to drop Neil Carter or Alan Richardson and play only two frontline seamers to accommodate Giles, or leave out the Australian all-rounder Brad Hogg.

Worcestershire are buoyed by the return of Gareth Batty and Andy Bichel for the meeting with Lancashire. Batty plays his first game of the season for the county. Australian Bichel is also set to feature after being rested for the drawn tour match against New Zealand.

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