Vaughan given month break by ECB

Published: Wednesday, March 16, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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London:England captain Michael Vaughan will miss the first month of the 2005 English domestic season, which starts in April, the England and Wales Cricket Board announced.

The 30-year-old Yorkshire batsman is being given a break following his efforts in leading England throughout their gruelling Test and one-day series in South Africa where games came thick and fast.

Vaughan will sit out of all competitive cricket until May 6 when he will be available for Yorkshire's County Championship home contest with Northamptonshire.

He will then have a second four-day match, versus Leicestershire, to prepare himself for the opening Test of two against Bangladesh, which begins at Lord's on May 26.

England coach Duncan Fletcher wants to make sure as many of his leading players are as fresh as possible for the showpiece Ashes Test series against Australia which gets underway in July.

To that end, other players among the dozen on England central contracts will also be granted time off.

Left-arm spinner Ashley Giles, who will miss Warwickshire's season opener against the MCC, fast bowler Stephen Harmison and batsmen Andrew Strauss, Marcus Trescothick and Graham Thorpe are to concentrate on Championship cricket, although the quintet will be permitted to play in the Cheltenham and Gloucester Trophy one-day competition.

By contrast, fast bowlers James Anderson and Simon Jones have not had any restrictions placed upon them, while Matthew Hoggard and wicketkeeper Geraint Jones will be available to Yorkshire and Kent respectively for all cricket from their counties' first Championship matches.

Injured pair Andrew Flintoff, the Lancashire all-rounder and Mark Butcher, the Surrey top-order batsman, are to be assessed before a decision is made about when they should return to senior cricket.

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