Powell and Wharf receive backing for England one-day squad

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The Independent Online

The Glamorgan pair Michael Powell and Alex Wharf may be in line for a place in England's one-day squad.

The Glamorgan pair Michael Powell and Alex Wharf may be in line for a place in England's one-day squad.

England will name a 30-man squad on Monday for the Champions Trophy, which will be staged in England during September. Powell, a batsman, was part of the one-day squad for the recent NatWest series, but did not play in any of the matches. After England's poor form against New Zealand and West Indies, the former England captain Alex Stewart said that the all-rounder Wharf should be selected.

The pair's selection would go some way towards appeasing those who have criticised the England selectors' apparent reluctance to pick Glamorgan players, despite the county's excellent limited-overs form recently. Glamorgan are eight points clear at the top of the totesport First Division.

Powell, 27, has scored 263 limited-overs runs this season at an average of just over 37. Wharf, 29, has scored 143 runs and is Glamorgan's second-highest wicket-taker with 13 in six matches.

Stewart's call came after similar claims made by Wharf's Glamorgan captain, Robert Croft, and the county's coach, John Derrick.

Stewart said the biggest problem with Michael Vaughan's one-day side is the lack of players who can genuinely bat and bowl. He argued that Andrew Flintoff needs greater support in that area and tipped Wharf as well as Surrey's Rikki Clarke, as the two men who could come through to assist Flintoff.

"The real problem is that Flintoff is our only player who can genuinely fulfil the two roles," Stewart said. "We need to see someone like Clarke come through to bolster the team.

He added: "Or, let me throw another name into the frame - how about Wharf? I think he's got half a chance from the little bit I've seen of him."

Croft and Derrick have each previously pushed Wharf's claim for England selection after his one-day form for Glamorgan. Wharf has batted at No 3 in Glamorgan's advance towards the top of the National League, while he has also proved himself an economical bowler.

"Where England really fall down is that Flintoff is the only genuine bat-and-ball man," Stewart said. "We've got the right make-up and find another person to help him."

The pair were hoping to advance their cause against Sri Lanka A at Sophia Gardens yesterday, but rain hampered their efforts.

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