England calls up rookie Clarke for Champions Trophy

Published: Saturday, September 7, 2002, 17:16 [IST]
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London: England on Friday called up Surrey youngster Rikki Clarke as one of three changes to the squad for next week's ICC Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka.

All-rounder Clarke, 20, is joined in the 14-man party by Middlesex batsman Owais Shah and Dominic Cork. The trio come in for injury victims Paul Collingwood (neck), Craig White (abdominal injury) and Michael Vaughan (impending knee operation). It brings the number of changes to the original squad to five. Since the initial announcement of the party last month, England has replaced Darren Gough with James Kirtley and Andrew Flintoff with Ian Blackwell. Clarke's rapid rise represents the most intriguing choice of replacements. He only made his first-class debut for Surrey this season on the back of a successful winter in South Africa. It was there that his batting - he failed to convert any of his innings in second XI cricket last season into three figures - was honed by former Australia and South Africa Test player Kepler Wessels. Upon his return, he broke into the first team following the death of Ben Hollioake and has averaged 50 in first class cricket this summer. England:Nasser Hussain (captain), Andrew Caddick, Ian Blackwell, Rikki Clarke, Dominic Cork, Ashley Giles, Matthew Hoggard, Ronnie Irani, James Kirtley, Nick Knight, Owais Shah, Jeremy Snape, Alec Stewart and Marcus Trescothick.

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