The England captain, Michael Vaughan, will not return to Pakistan for the one-day series which starts on Saturday following the recommendation that he undergoes investigative surgery on his injured right knee. Vaughan visited a specialist in Sheffield on Monday and he will have an arthroscopic assessment of the joint after the birth of his second child, who is due this week.
Marcus Trescothick will captain the team in Vaughan's absence and Ian Bell, who was initially asked to stay in Pakistan as cover, will remain with the one-day squad.
"I'm bitterly disappointed to be missing the one-day matches against Pakistan but surgery really is the only option for me," Vaughan said. "Hopefully I can make a full recovery for the tour of India in the early stages of next year."
Dr Peter Gregory, the chief medical officer at the England and Wales Cricket Board, believes that by having surgery now Vaughan will be fit for the tour of India, but there has so far been no diagnosis of what is wrong with the knee. This is not a particularly good sign.
Vikram Solanki is the player who will benefit most from Vaughan's injury. Solanki has been a regular member of the England one-day squad for almost two and half years but he has yet to cement a regular place in the side.
Solanki became England's first "supersub" last summer and scored a fighting half century against Australia at the Oval. Like many observers Solanki has yet to be won over by the concept but he is happy to be involved in the England set-up in any way he can.
If Solanki is to succeed in the five-match series he will have to cope with the Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar. Solanki knows all about Shoaib, having captained him at Worcestershire last summer and disagrees with his club chairman, who questioned Shoaib's commitment.
"It is unfortunate those comments were made," said Solanki. "Shoaib is an interesting character. He is a unique type of guy and he has proved his cricketing ability during the recent Test series. I get on well with him and it was great to catch up with him here."Reuse content