Gough given chance to seize one-day lifeline

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The Independent Online

Darren Gough has been offered a way back into the international game after being invited to train with the England one-day squad. The 33-year-old fast bowler will join up with the one-day specialists preparing at the National Academy in Loughborough for the seven-match series in West Indies in April.

Gough will undergo an initial medical examination in the next few days and then join a two-day training camp on 9-10 March.

Gough, who retired from Test cricket last summer after two years of knee problems, was omitted from the one-day squad to tour Bangladesh and Sri Lanka late last year. But he said when signing for Essex this month that he had not given up on international one-day cricket.

David Graveney, the England chairman of selectors, said: "Having reviewed our one-day performances in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, and bearing in mind the busy international programme in the next six months, we are conscious of the fact that we may need to rest our younger bowlers and rotate the seamers accordingly."

* Middlesex yesterday signed two South Africans, the fast bowler Nantie Hayward and the all-rounder Lance Klusener, as their overseas players for 2004. The county missed out on their initial targets of Ashley Noffke, the Australian paceman who played for them last summer, and the Indian spinner Anil Kumble.