The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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England consider Tudor option

Perth: England have yet to complete the first week of their Ashes tour and already they are considering calling up paceman Alex Tudor to cover injuries in the squad and hoping Michael Vaughan recovers from a knee prob- lem.

England were forced to rest fast bowlers Darren Gough (knee) and Andrew Flintoff (hernia) and opening batsman Vaughan from Tuesday’s tour-opener against an Australian Cricket Board (ACB) Chairman’s XI, which the tourists lost by 58 runs in Perth.

Vaughan is expected to be one of England’s key weapons in the five-Test series which starts in Brisbane on November 7. However, the Yorkshire right-hander is not yet certain to be available for the final lead-up match against Queensland.

“Vaughan has a very good chance of playing in the next three-day match against Queensland, starting in Brisbane on November 2,” England coach Duncan Fletcher told a news conference in Perth on Wednesday.

“Gough is pretty positive. He has bowled on each of the past two days and there has been no reaction. He is feeling pretty bullish at this stage.

“We don’t want to push him too soon. We’ll just have to wait and see. We won’t know whether he is ready for the Test unless he is ready for the Brisbane three-day game.”

Fletcher also announced on Wednesday that Flintoff would be sent to the Australian Cricket Academy in Adelaide for further treatment on his hernia injury. He said that if replacements were required there were players available close to hand.

“Tudor is at the English Cricket Board (ECB) Academy in Adelaide and other players are around in Australia, practising, and if the injuries don’t work out, we may have to make a decision to bring them in,” Fletcher added.

“We’ll make that decision over the next four or five days.”

Tudor, 24, has taken 26 wickets at 31.50 in nine Tests. The Surrey bowler made his Test debut against Australia in Perth in 1998-99.

Fletcher was not impressed at a question about whether England should have brought so many injured players on tour for a series against the world’s top-ranked side.

“Should we have left them at home then'” he said.

England next match is over two days against Western Australia in Perth, starting on Thursday.

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