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Hoggard fit to play in first Test

india Updated: Jul 13, 2006 15:22 IST
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Matthew Hoggard was included in England's team for the first Test against Pakistan at Lord's on Thursday after overcoming a freak hand injury.

The swing specialist, ever-present in England's last 32 Tests, sustained a bizarre injury to his right, bowling, hand when it was trodden on by Yorkshire colleague Tim Bresnan while the pair were warming-up on Saturday during the A team's draw against Pakistan at Canterbury.

But Hoggard, who had stitches inserted into his hand, bowled with a cricket ball during practice at Lord's on Wednesday and the Ashes-winning 29-year-old has now been cleared to play in what is the first match of a four Test series.

England omitted Jon Lewis and Sajid Mahmood from their 13-man squad after the injury-hit hosts were without the Ashes-winning quartet of captain Michael Vaughan (knee), all-rounder Andrew Flintoff (ankle), fast bowler Simon Jones (knee) and left-arm spinner Ashley Giles (hip).

Andrew Strauss, who led the side in their 5-0 one-day series defeat, beacame England's 77th Test captain with the opening batsman skippering the side on his Middlesex home ground.

England

Marcus Trescothick, Andrew Strauss (capt), Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Ian Bell, Geraint Jones (wkt), Liam Plunkett, Matthew Hoggard, Stephen Harmison, Monty Panesar

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