Vaughan sets off on Ashes Road

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Michael Vaughan has revealed playing in the 2009 Ashes Series is the motivation behind his inclusion in England's Performance Squad.

The England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed today Vaughan will join England's second string after taking a three-month sabbatical from the game.

The performance squad, who fly out to India in 10 days' time, will play two matches during the month-long tour.

Despite being awarded a central contract by the ECB in September, Vaughan was not picked for the 15-man squad currently in India to play seven one-day internationals and two Tests.

The Yorkshire opener captained the England side that regained the Ashes in 2005 and now hopes his performances will help him break back into the full side for Australia's visit next summer.

"That would be the pinnacle, to get back in and try and play in the Ashes," said Vaughan. "I just want to try and do as well as I can and get that feeling of batting and scoring runs again. I'm sure it will be just around the corner. Ultimately, I'd love another go at Australia and beyond that.

"I've had a good break, it's a break that I would have had at this time of year anyway, so I feel ready to get back and hopefully try and push for a place in the England side."

England's national selector, Geoff Miller, agreed Vaughan could win back his place in the England side, but warned the Yorkshireman it will not be easy.

"He's had his break, he required it and he has come back refreshed. He's now in the position that he has to start putting in some performances to get himself back in the side," Miller told Sky Sports News. "He's got to overtake the players who currently occupy those positions in the side and those that are in contention for a Test place, and that can only be done by performances.

"But he'll work hard at it. I know he wants to get back in the side and he's a quality player. We are a better side when he's playing well because of his experience, but he'll have to force his way back in via his performances."

As part of their tour, the performance squad will link up with their senior counterparts, and current England captain Kevin Pietersen was delighted to hear of Vaughan's call-up.

"It's good because it gives us strength in depth to have a guy like that around with his experience," he said. "He's coming back into the fold now and has his head back on - and he's willing to do whatever it takes to get back into the England team, which is great."