Gough denies any rift with England team management

Published: Thursday, July 25, 2002, 23:06 [IST]
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London: England fast bowler Darren Gough insisted on Thursday he had not had a row with the team management over the treatment of his knee injury. Gough suffered a recurrence of the problem while bowling for Yorkshire against archrivals Lancashire last week where he barely managed to keep going for two days. He was ruled out of the first two Tests of the four-match series against India, which started at Lord's on Thursday.

Gough, 31, returned to England colours in the One-day triangular series but according to Wednesday's Yorkshire Evening Post he was told by his specialist to miss the championship match against Lancashire. However, in a statement issued on Thursday, Gough, who has not completed a first- class match in 11 months, said, "Despite what has been written in some newspapers, I have not had a row with the England team management about my knee injury, neither was I forced to play in the 'Roses match' against my wishes.

"After coming through the C and G (Trophy) quarter-final match last week, my knee felt okay and after talking to Nasser Hussain, and Duncan Fletcher it was decided I would play against Lancashire. "To be honest, I wanted to play in the Championship match for my own peace of mind as much as anything. I needed to be 100 per cent sure that I could get through a four-day game rather than just a One-day game as I had slight reservations about my ability to do so.

"It's absolute nonsense to suggest that my knee injury has been misdiagnosed or that I was rushed into the 'Roses match' ahead of schedule. I've had great support from the medical team since I was injured and it's just frustrating that I haven't yet been able to get back to full fitness. "Once the two weeks rest period is up, I'm looking forward to getting back in the nets and hopefully playing cricket for Yorkshire.

It will then be up to me to prove to Nasser and Duncan that my body is ready for a five-day Test match. "That's my target for this summer and everyone who knows me, knows that I've never been one to shirk a challenge."

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