Ashley Giles Bombshell

ASHLEY Giles has retained his credibility in the England set-up with the inclusion of his name among the provisional 30 players for the World Cup in the West Indies , announced on Saturday.

The left-arm spinner, rusty and awful in the Ashes, cannot possibly be considered good enough to make the final 15 selections when the squad is reduced on Feb 15. Yet Ian Blackwell, a much better one-day all-rounder, has been excluded because he cannot “prove” that his fitness will be fine by that time. Oh, dear. If only the selectors had been as meticulous before the ghastly events in Australia, when Giles, Andrew Flintoff and Marcus Trescothick were all injury risks.

One of the best attacking batsmen in England , Owais Shah, has at last received the nod for the World Cup. The Middlesex batsman is a flair player, the nearest match to Kevin Pietersen; yet Shah has not been sent to Australia for the current one-day series. Mal Loye is another match-winning bat. But puzzlingly Ravi Bopara, the Essex bowling all-rounder, has been chosen to replace Pietersen.

Chairman of selectors David Graveney said: “Darren Gough, Ian Blackwell and Tim Bresnan were not selected for this squad of 30 because regrettably they have not been able to prove that their fitness will be at a suitable level when we announce our final squad. We are eager to ensure everyone is given every chance to prove their fitness, but we are not prepared to select players for this upcoming World Cup that we anticipate will not reach a satisfactory level of fitness for what will be a gruelling tournament.”

Yet Giles appears to be regarded in a different sphere. “Things are progressing well with Ashley,” Graveney added, “and he welcomes the opportunity to be included in the squad of 30. He’s now getting back into training, which is great news for Ashley and the England cricket team.”

No room for Shah or Loye? Graveney: “We are happy with the top order of Strauss, Vaughan and Bell and we also see the injury to Kevin Pietersen, while unfortunate, as offering a great chance for Ed Joyce to stake his claim for a place in the ICC World Cup.”


Sorry, Grav. That’s rubbish. Strauss, Vaughan and Bell as a group simply do not have the firepower to win one-day matches.  Vaughan is an injury risk anyway.


England ’s World Cup 30

1. James Anderson ( Lancashire )

2. Ian Bell (Warwickshire)

3. Ravi Bopara (Essex)

4. Stuart Broad (Leicestershire)

5. Glen Chapple ( Lancashire )

6. Rikki Clarke ( Surrey )

7. Paul Collingwood ( Durham )

8. Alastair Cook ( Essex )

9. Jamie Dalrymple (Middlesex)

10. Andrew Flintoff ( Lancashire )

11. Ashley Giles (Warwickshire)

12. Matthew Hoggard ( Yorkshire )

13. Ed Joyce (Middlesex)

14. Amjad Khan (Kent)

15. Jon Lewis (Gloucestershire)

16. Mal Loye ( Lancashire )

17. Sajid Mahmood ( Lancashire )

18. Paul Nixon (Leicestershire)

19. Graham Onions ( Durham )

20. Monty Panesar (Northamtonshire)

21. Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire)

22. Liam Plunkett ( Durham )

23. Matt Prior ( Sussex )

24. Chris Read (Nottinghamshire)

25. Owais Shah (Middlesex)

26. Vikram Solanki (Worcestershire)

27. Andrew Strauss (Middlesex)

28. Chris Tremlett (Hampshire)

29. Michael Vaughan ( Yorkshire )

30. Michael Yardy ( Sussex )

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