Flintoff selected for England squads

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The Independent Online

Andrew Flintoff faces a potentially heavy limited-overs workload after being chosen in all three England squads announced today - each missing the injured Kevin Pietersen.

England's 15-man squad for both the NatWest Series against Australia and ICC Champions Trophy - which swiftly follows in South Africa - will be led by Andrew Strauss and contains just one uncapped player, Kent batsman Joe Denly.

As for England's lynchpin all-rounder Flintoff, set to retire from Test cricket after this week's Ashes decider because of a chronic injury to his right knee, a busy schedule appears in the offing.

While key batsman Pietersen's omission confirms his continued absence as he recovers from surgery on an Achilles problem, Flintoff's name appears in three separate squad lists.

His first assignment is as part of England's 14-man party to travel to Belfast for a one-day international against Ireland, just three days after the conclusion of the decisive Ashes Test at The Oval.

That team will be captained by Paul Collingwood, in the rested Strauss' absence, as will the 15 men chosen to face Australia in two Twenty20 internationals at Old Trafford.

After that, Flintoff and England face seven NatWest ODIs against Australia in just over two weeks - before flying out for the Champions Trophy.

Denly is a notable inclusion in all three squads - as are Yorkshire leg-spinner Adil Rashid, discarded Ashes batsman Ravi Bopara, wicketkeeper Matt Prior and Owais Shah.

But Jonathan Trott, called up in Bopara's place for The Oval, makes only the Twenty20 reckoning - a batting replacement for Strauss - and there are no places at all for Test fast bowler Steve Harmison or batsman Ian Bell.

Alastair Cook, James Foster, Robert Key and Dimitri Mascarenhas are others who have failed to make the cut from the provisional 30-man Champions Trophy list.

National Selector Geoff Miller explained: "We have kept faith with the bulk of the squad which was successful in the NatWest Series against West Indies earlier this summer and also included two players, Luke Wright and Adil Rashid, who were part of our squad for the ICC World T20.

"Joe Denly has impressed the selectors for a while with some excellent performances in one-day cricket - and with Kevin Pietersen unavailable through injury, this is an excellent opportunity for Joe to step up to the next level and show what he is capable of."

Miller confirmed the thinking behind identifying an opportunity to rest Test captain Strauss, who ruled himself out of England's Twenty20 plans earlier this year.

"Andrew Strauss has led the side extremely well in both forms of cricket this summer," he said.

"But the selectors felt it would be beneficial for him to have a short break from international cricket following the conclusion of the npower Ashes Test series, and Paul Collingwood will lead the side in Ireland and in the NatWest International Twenty20s."