The England selectors today named a 12-man squad for the first two matches of the npower Test Series against New Zealand, starting Thursday May 15 at Lord's.
Paul Collingwood has been named in the squad following treatment to his right shoulder after Durham’s LV County Championship match against Lancashire on Friday while Matthew Hoggard is one of four seam bowlers - along with Ryan Sidebottom, Stuart Broad and James Anderson - named in the squad.
Andrew Flintoff was yesterday ruled unavailable for selection after suffering a left side strain during Lancashire’s clash with Durham; he will continue to receive treatment for the injury and will be reassessed during the npower Test Series.
Geoff Miller, the England National Selector, said: “Despite being faced with some injury concerns we’ve named what we think is an extremely strong England Test squad.
“Paul Collingwood received treatment to his right shoulder on Friday and we now need to see how he responds to that treatment before we have a definitive idea of his availability for the first npower Test. At this stage it’s too early to say whether he will definitely play as he will be reassessed in the lead up to Thursday. I know Paul and the England medical team will be doing everything to ensure he’s given the best chance of taking his place in the side but should he not be fit to play we have options available.
“Andrew Flintoff was obviously unavailable for selection due a side strain which is a shame for Andrew and for England but I know he’ll continue to work hard with the Lancashire medical team and be back in contention in due course.
“Clearly there is very healthy competition for places in this Test side, which can only be good for England. The selection of this squad maintains a position of continuity from the winter following a series win against New Zealand. We’re expecting an equally tough series here at home and believe we have a squad capable of building on the success stemming from last winter.
“The decision to leave the likes of Stephen Harmison out of the squad was a difficult one but we’ve no doubt that Stephen, along with several other players, will continue to fight every inch of the way to stake a claim for England selection.”
England Test Squad
1. Michael Vaughan (Yorkshire) Captain
2. Tim Ambrose (Warwickshire)
3. James Anderson (Lancashire)
4. Ian Bell (Warwickshire)
5. Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire)
6. Paul Collingwood (Durham)
7. Alastair Cook (Essex)
8. Matthew Hoggard (Yorkshire)
9. Monty Panesar (Northamptonshire)
10. Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire)
11. Ryan Sidebottom (Nottinghamshire)
12. Andrew Strauss (Middlesex)
npower Test Series 2008 - England vs. New Zealand
Thursday 15 May-Monday 19 May - England v New Zealand - Lord's
Friday 23 May-Tuesday 27 May - England v New Zealand - Old Trafford
Thursday 5 June-Monday 9 June - England v New Zealand - Trent Bridge