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Flintoff uncertain to lead if Vaughan unfit

india Updated: Feb 15, 2007 17:28 IST
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Andrew Flintoff is not guaranteed to be England's captain at the World Cup in the event Michael Vaughan is injured.

Flintoff led England during their 5-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia.

The all-rounder was also in charge most of their ultimately successful subsequent triangular one-day series 'down under' where the team overcame a wretched start to win four straight matches, including a 2-0 victory in the best of three final against world champions Australia.

Vaughan, who missed the Ashes while recovering from a knee problem, only played in three of England's 10 one-dayers in Australia because of a hamstring injury. Nevertheless, the Yorkshire batsman was named Wednesday as captain of England's 15-man squad for next month's World Cup in the West Indies.

England chairman of selectors David Graveney said no decision had yet been taken on who would replace Vaughan if he dropped out.

"Let's be honest - we lost 5-0 in the Test series and five of our first six one-day internationals," Graveney told reporters at The Oval on Wednesday. "Andrew Flintoff deputised for Michael Vaughan in that period of time. It's only right and appropriate that he has time with his family then I'll talk to him about his views.

"I need to sit down and listen to him and have an honest chat about how it went in the (northern) winter.

"Andrew deputised in the winter and there is a process we go through. I am respecting Andrew's privacy and will have good conversation about the whole winter after that.

"My personal wish is that Michael gets off the plane at St Vincent to lead England," Graveney added.

Opening batsman Andrew Strauss, who led the team in England last year, would be a contender to captain England in the event Vaughan was injured and the selectors didn't want to give Flintoff fresh reponsibility.

England are scheduled to leave for the Caribbean on March 2 and play their first warm-up match against Bermuda in St Vincent on March 5. Their first match in the tournament proper is a Group C fixture against New Zealand in St Lucia on March 16.