Thatscricket - News - Eng delay announcing Caribbean tour party

Published: Tuesday, January 6, 2004, 22:51 [IST]
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London:England have delayed naming their 16-man squad for the four-Test series in the West Indies, to allow selectors more time to check on the fitness of key players. The squad was expected to be announced on Tuesday, but has been delayed by 24 hours.

Chairman of selectors David Graveney said: "We've asked the board to delay the announcement for a further 24 hours as discussions are continuing on the telephone between the four selectors. The West Indies tour is still six weeks away and we feel it is important to take time to resolve a number of outstanding issues."

Young quicks James Anderson, Stephen Harmison and Simon Jones are all vying for spots in party as they aim for their first Test series win in the Caribbean in over 30 years.

But whether the trio can last the distance of a tour comprising four Tests and seven One-day Internationals remains to be seen.

Anderson missed the first half of England's pre-Christmas Test trip to the subcontinent in Bangladesh with knee trouble while Harmison was absent from the following 1-0 series defeat in Sri Lanka because of a side strain.

And Jones has been out of all first-class cricket for over a year since injuring his cruciate knee ligament fielding against Australia at Brisbane.

Also in contention for a pace bowling place is experienced Somerset seamer Richard Johnson whose career has been blighted by injury problems.

Bowlers fitness major worry for Eng

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