Michael Vaughan aiming for New Year return

Published: Sunday, July 23, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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London:Michael Vaughan has said he intends to return to cricket early next year and play a part in England's World Cup campaign in the West Indies.

Vaughan, England's Ashes winning captain last year, has been ruled out of the return series in Australia starting in November after undergoing a fourth knee operation earlier this month.

But the Yorkshire batsman is optimistic he can feature in one-day fixtures against Australia and New Zealand in January and February and so prove his fitness in time for the World Cup, which starts in March.

"It's going to be a long road but hopefully I'll be back playing cricket again in the early part of 2007," Vaughan told BBC1 on Saturday.

"It's been a tough year, I thought I'd got very close to being fit to play and it wasn't right so I had to have another operation.

"At least it looks like I'm on the upward slide now and I can look forward to playing cricket again.

"It's going to be quite a hard rehab but I'm looking forward to getting back in 2007.

"It's frustrating. It's not nice to miss any tournament but to miss the biggest one (the Ashes), with what happened last year, I would have loved to have gone down there to try to win them again.

"But that's not to be. I have to look forward and try to get fit for the early part of 2007, try to play a part in the one-day games and also the World Cup in March."

"It's going to be a long road but hopefully I'll be back in the early part of 2007"

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