London: Ronnie Irani and James Kirtley were called up into England's 15-man squad on Wednesday for its One-day triangular series against India and Sri Lanka, which starts next week.
Essex all-rounder Irani, who has not played One-day cricket for England for five years, now gets a further chance in the tournament which starts on Thursday next week and culminates in a July 13 final at Lord's. Sussex paceman Kirtley has also been restored to the fold after his action was scrutinised by the International Cricket Council (ICC) when questions were raised on England's One-day tour of Zimbabwe last year.
David Graveney, England's chairman of selectors, said, "Ronnie Irani has been in the form of his life for Essex this summer and the message that we always send out to county players is - 'If you keep performing - we will look at you'. "Ronnie has done that and he is fully deserving of his selection." And, explaining Kirtley's call-up, Graveney said, "James Kirtley is aware of the environment that he is coming into as an international cricketer and has done a lot of remedial work on his action with (former England seamer) Bob Cottam over the winter.
"As far as the selectors are concerned, he has been cleared to play by the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) bowling review group, has performed successfully for Sussex this season and that is the end of the matter." Also included are Yorkshire fast bowler Darren Gough and Durham all-rounder Paul Collingwood even though both have knee injuries with fast bowler Andrew Caddick already ruled out of the series because of a side strain. However they will have to prove their fitness ahead of the tournament's opening match between England and Sri Lanka.
Gough has not played first-class cricket at all this season after surgery following England's Test series in New Zealand. "With regard to the injury situation, Darren Gough and Paul Collingwood are both easing themselves back into cricket at this stage and their fitness will be re- assessed next week before England's first match at Trent Bridge," Graveney said. Off spinner Jeremy Snape retains his place in the England One-day set-up even though he has often failed to make it into the Gloucestershire XI. "We are aware that Jeremy Snape is not currently a first-choice selection for Gloucestershire's One-day side.
"But he made a strong impression during the winter and as Ashley Giles has been troubled by a back injury, we need other options in the slow-bowling department," former off spinner Graveney explained. Neither Alec Stewart nor Alex Tudor were involved in England's One-day matches on its tour of India and New Zealand last winter but have been selected now. Both Surrey men were in fine form during England's 2-0 Test series win over Sri Lanka. Wicket-keeper Stewart scored a century and fast bowler Tudor took seven wickets in the third Test, which concluded at Old Trafford on Monday. However with Essex keeper James Foster still recovering from an arm injury there was never much doubt about former England captain Stewart's inclusion.
England: Nasser Hussain (captain), Paul Collingwood, Andrew Flintoff, Ashley Giles, Darren Gough, Matthew Hoggard, Ronnie Irani, James Kirtley, Nick Knight, Jeremy Snape, Alec Stewart (wicket-keeper), Graham Thorpe, Marcus Trescothick, Alex Tudor and Michael Vaughan.