Unfit Gough rules himself out of early One-dayers

Published: Wednesday, June 19, 2002, 21:11 [IST]
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London: Darren Gough said on Tuesday he would not be fit for the start of England's One-day series with Sri Lanka and India. Fast bowler Gough was due to be named on Wednesday in England's 15-man squad for the triangular tournament.

But he conceded that, while he is still recovering from knee surgery and yet to play first-team cricket this season, he would not be ready for England's first match of the series against Sri Lanka at Trent Bridge. Gough is due to play his first cricket of this summer for county Yorkshire's academy team his weekend. "I have to admit the first couple of One-day Internationals will probably come too quickly for me to be involved," Gough admitted. "I spoke with the England management a few times over the past few days - and, while I will definitely play some part in the series, they want me to be fully fit when I am selected." England already has problems in the fast bowling department with Andy Caddick, Gough's Test new-ball partner, out of the series with a side injury. But Gough insisted he would not be rushing back. "The opening game for England is next Thursday - playing in that is out of the question and probably the second match as well, but I am hopeful after that." And he believes England can use the series as a useful building block for next year's World Cup in South Africa. "These matches are all important preparation for next year's World Cup, which has a real open look about it," he told said. "Twelve months ago, Australia and South Africa looked to be well in front of everyone else, but both have been struggling in recent times. Like the soccer World Cup, it looks a really open contest at the moment and over the next couple of weeks England can prove they are a force to be reckoned with."

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