England to risk one-day return for Vaughan
Wednesday 20 December 2006
Michael Vaughan is on the verge of being recalled as England captain. The selectors are preparing to take the huge gamble of asking him to lead the team in the Australian triangular one-day series that follows the Ashes and in the World Cup next year.
But they have finally decided against rushing him back for the remainder of the Test series and Andrew Flintoff will continue as captain until it ends early next month. There is still the chance of a change of heart depending on Vaughan's final practice matches but the wind is blowing forcefully in only one direction.
England's coach, Duncan Fletcher, said yesterday of the troublesome right knee that has kept Vaughan out of the team for more than a year: "It's very positive and it's pleasing. Vaughan has been training with Nigel Stockill, our fitness coach, and has been moving very freely. He said he's never felt so good for some time."
Vaughan has bizarrely remained as England's official captain in his absence, and if he is in the squad he will lead it. But picking him would be a huge risk by selectors who have already staked too much on recalling other players after long recuperation periods. Andrew Flintoff, Ashley Giles and James Anderson were all brought back into the Ashes squad - fit but woefully short of cricket - with disastrous short-term consequences. Vaughan has not played a one-day international since July 2005 and allowing him back now would be a sign of desperation.
The 16-man squad for the Commonwealth Bank Series is expected to be announced tomorrow. Fletcher said: "We'll talk to the other selectors and they will talk to Vaughan... and a decision will be made as to whether he's good enough to play. I'm happy with Flintoff as captain, but we will just have to take that into consideration when we're selecting the side. It's not an easy job selecting."
The panel have hardly made it easier for themselves by failing to decide policy or personnel in the one-day side. England have used 41 players in 77 matches since the last doomed World Cup campaign compared to Australia's 33 in 101. At least six of England's probable World Cup squad will have played fewer than 30 one-dayers by the time it starts, usually the benchmark for sufficient experience to cope at this level.
England one-day squad (possible): M P Vaughan (capt), A J Strauss, I R Bell, A Flintoff, M H Yardy, K P Pietersen, P D Collingwood, J W M Dalrymple, C M W Read, S I Mahmood, J M Anderson, J P Lewis, L E Plunkett, E T Joyce, S C J Broad.
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao begin and what channel is it on?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao live: Mayweather puts on defensive masterclass to win by unanimous decision
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao begin on Sky Sports Box Office?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does the fight start and what channel is it on?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Only 132 pubs in the United Kingdom will show the fight - so where can you watch it?
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 3 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 4 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds