Shahzad is called in for Sidebottom
Wednesday 16 June 2010
Ajmal Shahzad has been added to the England one-day squad as cover for Ryan Sidebottom, who has suffered a hamstring strain.
Shahzad was a surprise omission from the 13 chosen last week after his fellow Yorkshireman, the all-rounder Tim Bresnan, recovered more quickly than anticipated from a foot problem.
The fast bowler, who made an encouraging Test debut against Bangladesh in place of Bresnan at Old Trafford, instead seemed set for a place in the England Lions squad to face India A and West Indies A in a triangular series. But the Nottinghamshire left-arm seamer Sidebottom was ruled out of last night's Friends Provident T20 match, after suffering a grade one hamstring strain against Worcestershire on Sunday.
However, the ICC World T20 winner will remain with the England squad to receive ongoing rehabilitation and further assessment, and the national selector Geoff Miller had sympathethic words for him, saying: "It's a shame Ryan has picked up this injury, because he's been injury-free for some time and bowling well. Thankfully it's a relatively minor injury.
"Ajmal Shahzad is a strong addition to the squad and he'll be looking to build on his maiden ODI appearance for England in Bangladesh over the winter."
Shahzad joined the England squad last night in time for preparations, starting at the National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough, for Saturday's one-day international against Scotland in Edinburgh.
He will join a seamer contingent headed by James Anderson, who yesterday voiced misgivings about his place in the pecking order. The Lancastrian has been widely considered England's first-choice seamer in all formats over the past 12 months, but after being rested for the winter tour of Bangladesh with a niggling knee injury, Anderson lost his place to Sidebottom in the first-choice line-up at the ICC World T20 and went on to play no part in England's Caribbean campaign.
"I'm worried I won't start in this series," he said. "Looking at it now, I can't see me starting unless they play one spinner."
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