London: Andrew Flintoff has been left out of England's Lions squad for their upcoming tour of India but selectors insisted the decision does not reflect concern over the all-rounder's recovery from the fourth operation he has had on his left ankle.
Earlier this month, David Graveney, the chairman of the selectors, raised the possibility of Flintoff, 30, joining the development squad in India as a batsman as part of his rehabilitation from the operation he underwent in October.
That plan was definitively shelved on Tuesday, when the final make-up of the squad was confirmed. But the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said Flintoff remained on track to start the 2008 English season with his county, Lancashire.
"Andrew Flintoff will not be joining the Lions squad for the tour of India and is currently making good progress with his recovery from ankle surgery," an ECB statement said.
"He will continue his rehabilitation programme with Lancashire and it is anticipated that he will be available for their pre-season tours of India and Dubai."
With Flintoff apparently opting out of the tour and Worcestershire duo Steven Davies and Kabir Ali ruled out by injury, the ECB have called up Essex wicketkeeper James Foster, Gloucestershire pace bowler Steve Kirby and Nottinghamshire pace bowler Charlie Shreck.
The Lions are due to fly to Mumbai on January 23 and are due to play as a guest team in India's domestic Duleep Trophy.
Revised England Lions squad to tour India
Michael Yardy (Sussex capt.), Michael Carberry (Hampshire), Joe Denly (Kent), James Foster (Essex), James Hildreth (Somerset), Ed Joyce (Middlesex), Steve Kirby (Gloucestershire), Graham Onions (Durham), Monty Panesar (Northamptonshire), Liam Plunkett (Durham), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Alan Richardson (Middlesex), Charlie Shreck (Nottinghamshire), Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire)