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Ashley Giles declared fit for the Ashes

Published: Tuesday, October 31, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
 
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London :In a major boost to England's Ashes prospects, left-arm spinner Ashley Giles has been declared fit for the forthcoming battle for the urn in Australia.

Passing him fit for the series Down Under, England team physiotherapist Kirk Russell said, ''Ashley has been through a tough time but he worked extremely hard in India and the medical team is very pleased with the progress he has made.'' ''He bowled for extended periods in the nets, completed all the drills we set him without any reaction and is now fully fit and able to take his place in the Ashes squad,'' he said in a statement issued here.

The spinner was with England's one-day squad for Champions Trophy, which crashed out of the event following losses to India and Australia in the league stages. The side, however, managed to win their last group match against West Indies.

Expressing his delight at Giles's return, England Chairman of selectors David Graveney said, ''It's excellent news that Ashley has come through the final stage of his rehabilitation programme and is available again for selection.'' ''He played an important role in helping England regain the Ashes in 2005 and I am sure that he will be keen to make an impact in Australia this winter,'' he added.

Giles, meanwhile, said he desperately wanted to be fit for the big series.

''It's been a long, hard road back for me and I am grateful to the staff at the National Cricket Centre who helped with my rehabilitation and to the England team management for giving me the opportunity to go to India and work with the one-day squad,'' he said.

''It was always my goal to be fit in time for the Ashes tour and now that the moment has arrived I am really looking forward to being part of the Test squad again,'' he added.

UNI

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