Caddick back injury adds to agony for battered England

Myles Hodgson
Monday 25 November 2002 01:00
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England are to hold a crisis meeting to review their long list of injuries after their fast bowler Andrew Caddick emerged as a doubt for Friday's third Test against Australia in Perth.

Caddick was unable to bowl after tea yesterday during the second Test at the Adelaide Oval and batted at No 11 after complaining of back pain as England crashed to defeat.

The Somerset pace man has five days to recover before England enter the next Test knowing they must avoid defeat if they are to prevent Australia winning their seventh successive series against them. His recovery will not be helped by a three-hour flight from Adelaide to Perth, which England are due to take tomorrow morning, and, in the meantime, the England captain Nasser Hussain is planning a meeting with the coach Duncan Fletcher and physiotherapist Kirk Russell to review the injury list.

"Andy says he's struggling a little bit at the moment and we're going to be looking at the whole injury situation," Hussain said. "We're going to have a meeting and go through every injured player and speak to David Graveney if we need replacements – we need to review every injured player and see exactly where we are with them."

Caddick's injury could not have come at a worse time for the tourists, whose seam resources are stretched anyway, with Matthew Hoggard struggling for form, Steve Harmison inconsistent, while Alex Tudor has played only once and Chris Silverwood, who has been flown in as cover, yet to play a match.

The tourists, who have already called up Sussex's James Kirtley as a replacement for Darren Gough in their one-day squad, also have to consider the problem of calling up an additional spinner following the freak injury to Ashley Giles at the Adelaide nets in the build-up to the Test, when he broke his left wrist batting against the pace of Harmison.

With the Yorkshire off-spinner Richard Dawson performing impressively in Adelaide, the need for a spinner is not the biggest priority – but the call-up of an extra batsman is a pressing need with the fitness of both Michael Vaughan and John Crawley in doubt.

Crawley has sustained a slight tear in his thigh and the Hampshire batsman is rated as doubtful for the WACA, while Vaughan is on painkillers after being struck on the shoulder by a Jason Gillespie bouncer.

The Durham all-rounder Paul Collingwood could be a possible replacement as he is playing club cricket in Melbourne, while Nick Knight arrives in Adelaide with the other one-day specialists today.

Back in England, Simon Jones could be out for up to 10 months. He is due to see a specialist in Sheffield today with an operation on his damaged right knee scheduled for Friday.

Jones has been home for two weeks after falling on the opening day of the first Test and rupturing cruciate ligaments.

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