England names Blackwell as replacement for Flintoff

Published: Saturday, August 31, 2002, 22:10 [IST]
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London: England called up Somerset all-rounder Ian Blackwell on Friday to its squad for next month's International Cricket Council (ICC) Trophy One-day tournament as a replacement for the injured Andrew Flintoff. Blackwell, 24, uncapped at international level, is a hard-hitting left-handed bat and slow left-arm bowler. He has got his chance because of Flintoff's groin injury, which requires a hernia operation that will sideline the Lancashire player for at least a month. This season Blackwell, formerly of Derbyshire, has scored over 800 first class runs at an average of 39.38 this summer including three hundreds while taking 20 wickets at an average of 37.45. But it is his One-day batting that has caught the selectors' eye. Somerset faces Yorkshire in Saturday's Trophy final and Blackwell played a key role in getting the west country county to Lord's. His 53-ball 86 against Kent in the semi-final was a pivotal innings and saw Blackwell rewarded with the man-of-the-match award. In all Trophy matches this season he averages over fifty. England's chairman of selectors, David Graveney, said, "Ian has had a very good season for Somerset and shown that he can play match-winning innings in a positive manner. "This is now a good opportunity for him to show what he can do at a higher level. We also feel that his left arm spin bowling will give us extra options in a venue like Sri Lanka." Blackwell is the second player to be called up as a replacement for the ICC Trophy after James Kirtley was drafted in to replace injured fast bowler Darren Gough (knee) earlier this month. England:Nasser Hussain (captain), Ian Blackwell, Paul Collingwood, Andrew Caddick, Ashley Giles, Matthew Hoggard, Ronnie Irani, James Kirtley, Nick Knight, Jeremy Snape, Alec Stewart (wicket-keeper), Marcus Trescothick, Michael Vaughan, Craig White.

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