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Aussie southpaw Hayden cleared for Ashes

Published: Tuesday, October 17, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Sydney:Sydney: Australia opener Matthew Hayden will be fit for the Ashes series starting next month despite breaking a finger.

Hayden, who averages 53.08 in 84 Tests, dislocated the little finger on his left hand as he took a tumbling catch when playing for his state side Queensland against Tasmania on Friday.

The 34-year-old, overlooked for the current Champions Trophy in India, suffered a ''minor un-displaced fracture'' and has been withdrawn from Queensland's one-day and first class Pura Cup matches against New South Wales at the Gabba next week.

''In making that decision, it needs to be stated that the injury does not place him in any doubt for the first Test match,'' medical director Simon Carter told Queensland's website.

Hayden, who scored 36 in the second innings while carrying the injury, said he was pleased the blow was not more severe.

''I'm lucky in a lot of ways that I've got a fracture which isn't displaced which means no operations and I play on as usual after a couple of weeks,'' Hayden told local media.

''I thought I broke it straight away, it made a big crack, that's never a good start.

''I was a bit stupid really in some ways (to carry on playing).

The only thing that can hurt me now is if I get another knock on it.'' Hayden will now only have one four-day match, against Western Australia at the WACA from Nov. 12, to prove his form before the Ashes series against England begins at the Gabba in Brisbane on Nov 23.

''The Gabba is unique though,'' Hayden added. ''It is my backyard and I've played a lot of cricket on it before so I'm confident going into the first Test.''

Reuters

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