Gough discarded as Fletcher looks for Cup diamonds

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The Independent Online

He is no longer the Strictly Come Dancing champion, following Mark Ramprakash's recent victory, and in strictly cricketing terms Darren Gough is also yesterday's man.

There had been some doubt as to whether the Essex and former Yorkshire fast bowler would play for England again, and a failed fitness test means he does not feature in England's provisional 30-man World Cup squad named over the weekend. The same fate - omission by fitness test - has befallen Ian Blackwell and Tim Bresnan, while four uncapped players were added to the squad as well as seven players who did not feature in the Champions Trophy squad, including Michael Vaughan.

The newcomers are Essex's Ravi Bopara, who has also replaced the injured Kevin Pietersen in Australia; Amjad Khan, Kent's Denmark-born fast bowler who only became eligible for England last month; Mal Loye, the Lancashire batsman; and the Durham bowler Graeme Onions.

There is not much in the batting line-up to inspire confidence: Australia, India, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies all have at least one current batsman with more one-day hundreds than Duncan Fletcher's entire squad.

England provisional World Cup squad: M P Vaughan (Yorkshire, capt) age 32, ODIs 75; J M Anderson (Lancashire) 24, 54; I R Bell (Warwickshire) 24, 27; R S Bopara (Essex) 21, 0; S C J Broad (Leicestershire) 20, 5; G Chapple (Lancashire) 32, 1; R Clarke (Surrey) 25, 20; P D Collingwood (Durham) 30, 104; A N Cook (Essex) 22, 2; J W M Dalrymple (Middlesex) 25, 15; A Flintoff (Lancashire) 29, 106; A F Giles (Warwickshire) 33, 62; M J Hoggard (Yorkshire) 30, 26; E C Joyce (Middlesex) 28, 3; Amjad Khan (Kent) 26, 0; J Lewis (Gloucestershire) 31, 9; M B Loye (Lancashire) 34, 0; S I Mahmood (Lancashire) 25, 15; P A Nixon (Leicestershire) 36, 1; G Onions (Durham) 24, 0; M S Panesar (Northamptonshire) 24, 1; K P Pietersen (Hampshire) 26, 42; L E Plunkett (Durham) 21, 16; M J Prior (Sussex) 24, 12; C M W Read (Nottinghamshire) 28, 36; O A Shah (Middlesex) 28, 18; V S Solanki (Worcestershire) 30, 51; A J Strauss (Middlesex) 29, 65; C T Tremlett (Hampshire) 25, 3; M H Yardy (Sussex) 26, 5.

* Darrell Hair will return to umpiring in a one-day series in Kenya on Wednesday. Hair will stand in Kenya's match with Scotland in Mombasa, in a series also involving Canada.