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Harmison back to England squad for first Test

Published: Sunday, July 9, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
 
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London:Steve Harmison returned to a 13-member England squad announced today for the first Test against Pakistan starting at Lord's on Thursday.

Harmison returns to the squad after missing the recent Test series against Sri Lanka through injury and Ian Bell has also been included.

''We have included five pace bowlers in the squad as we need cover for Matthew Hoggard following the hand injury he sustained while with England 'A' yesterday,'' Chairman of Selectors David Graveney said.

Injured seamer Matthew Hoggard remains a suspect and Graveney said his fitness would be again put on test on Tuesday.

''Matthew's injury will be re-assessed by our medical staff on Tuesday and we will give him the maximum time he needs to prove his fitness as he is the most experienced member of our attack,'' he said.

Andrew Flintoff, who is recovering from an ankle injury, will not play in this match.

''Andrew Flintoff was not considered for this Test Match but his recovery from an ankle injury is progressing according to schedule and he will play for Lancashire later today (Sunday) in the Twenty20 Cup,'' he added.

The Squad: Andrew Strauss (captain), Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Alastair Cook, Stephen Harmison, Matthew Hoggard, Geraint Jones, Jon Lewis, Sajid Mahmood, Monty Panesar, Kevin Pietersen, Liam Plunkett, Marcus Trescothick.

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