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England fast bowler Gough suffers India blow

Published: Friday, January 13, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
 
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London:Darren Gough's hopes of reviving his international career and appearing in next year's World Cup suffered a major setback after the 35-year-old fast bowler was left out of England's squad for the forthcoming tour of India announced here.

Gough, now a One-day specialist at international level, ruled himself out of the first half of England's 'winter' programme, the tour of Pakistan, and subsequently appeared on the BBC celebrity dance programme, Strictly Come Dancing, which he won.

However, the Essex paceman, formerly at Yorkshire, made himself available for the seven-match One-day series in India which follows the three-match Test encounter.

But the performances of Lancashire's James Anderson and Liam Plunkett of Durham in a losing cause in Pakistan, plus the return from injury of Ashes star Simon Jones, have seen England stand by them and instead omit Gough.

England's chairman of selectors, David Graveney on Friday explained: "Darren asked the selectors not to consider him for the tour of Pakistan for personal reasons and we respected his wishes.

"With Liam Plunkett and James Anderson performing well in Pakistan and Simon Jones now available for selection again, the selectors feel the priority is for these players to gain as much experience of One-day cricket as possible ahead of the World Cup."

Gough, who played the last of his 157 One-day internationals against Australia at the Oval last July, has been left out of England's One-day squads before, including the tours to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka two years ago.

He returned for the West Indies later that winter and had kept his place in the side since but his omission now calls into question his participation at the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean.

Durham quick Plunkett is included in both squads for the first time after impressing in Pakistan while Test regular Ian Bell gets his One-day call-up at the expense of the dropped Vikram Solanki.

"Liam Plunkett has made a promising start to his international career and is an emerging player with great potential. Ian Bell has also been named in both squads as we believe his ability to bat in the top order will give us another option as we continue to plan for the World Cup in 2007," Graveney said.

Jones, who has not played since injuring his ankle during the fourth Ashes Test victory at Trent Bridge, will fly out on January 26 to spend 10 days at the Fast Bowling Academy in Chennai set up by Australia great Dennis Lillee.

Left-arm spinner Ashley Giles, whose tour of Pakistan was cut short by a hip injury, and off-spinner Shaun Udal - who struggled during the 2-0 Test series defeat - have both retained their places.

However, the selectors have left open the option of adding another spinner and that could see Northamptonshire's uncapped Monty Panesar called-up.

Both Kent's off-spinning batsman Alex Loudon and Anderson have dropped out of the Test squad.

Meanwhile England captain Michael Vaughan (rib) and Giles, who have both had surgery since returning early from Pakistan, each face fitness Tests before the Test squad leaves for Mumbai on Febuary 12.

England play the first of three Tests in Nagpur starting on March 1, with the first of seven one-day internationals in Delhi on March 28.

Test squad: Michael Vaughan (Yorkshire, capt), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Paul Collingwood (Durham), Andrew Flintoff (Lancashire), Ashley Giles (Warwickshire), Stephen Harmison (Durham), Matthew Hoggard (Yorkshire), Geraint Jones (Kent, wkt), Simon Jones (Glamorgan), Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire), Liam Plunkett (Durham), Matthew Prior (Sussex), Andrew Strauss (Middlesex), Marcus Trescothick (Somerset), Shaun Udal (Hampshire)

One-day squad: Michael Vaughan (capt), Kabir Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Ian Blackwell (Somerset), Paul Collingwood (Durham), Andrew Flintoff, Ashley Giles, Stephen Harmison, Geraint Jones (wkt), Simon Jones, Kevin Pietersen, Matthew Prior (Sussex, wkt), Liam Plunkett, Andrew Strauss, Marcus Trescothick

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