The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Craig White’s fitness deadline extended

Johannesburg: England extended Craig White’s fitness deadline on Monday to give the allrounder a last chance to take part in the World Cup.

England spokesman Andrew Walpole informed that White would not play in the team’s first warm-up game against Eastern Province in Port Elizabeth Tuesday. The game had earlier been set as White’s final fitness test before the start of the tournament Sunday.

“The intention is to give as many players as we can a hit, either on Tuesday or on Thursday against Border in East London,” Walpole said.

“Craig bowled in the nets this morning and came through without any reaction but we want to give him and Steve Harmison more time after their injuries.”

The injury-prone White, 33, tore a side muscle during the Ashes series in December, the injury ruling him out of the tri-series against Australia and Sri Lanka. England coach Duncan Fletcher, asked about White last month, said: “The worst scenario is that we will take him to South Africa and, if he is not fit for the very first warm-up game, we will have to look at changing it.”

Should White be ruled out of the World Cup he is likely to be replaced by Surrey captain and allrounder Adam Hollioake in the 15-man squad.

Fast bowler Harmison, meanwhile, is recovering from an ankle injury sustained during the triangular tournament in Australia. (Reuters)

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