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Shahzad ruled out of Pakistan opener

Ajmal Shahzad was today ruled out of the England squad for the first Test against Pakistan, starting at Trent Bridge in Nottingham today, with an ankle injury.

cricket Updated: Jul 28, 2010 17:21 IST

Ajmal Shahzad was ruled out on Wednesday of the England squad for the first Test against Pakistan, starting at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Thursday, with an ankle injury. Shahzad's place in a 12-man squad has been taken by fellow Yorkshire seam bowler Tim Bresnan.

England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief medical officer Nick Peirce said in a statement: "After twisting his left ankle with Yorkshire over a week ago Ajmal went on to successfully play in a 40-over match for his county last Monday.

"Unfortunately Ajmal felt some discomfort following England practice at the NCPC (National Cricket Performance Centre) on Tuesday and as a precautionary measure it is felt he is best to undergo rehabilitation on the ankle for the remainder of this week.

"We expect Ajmal to make a full recovery, he hasn't been ruled unavailable for the second Test starting next week (at Edgbaston). He will continue to be assessed this week before a decision on his fitness is made."

Shahzad, 25, has so far played just one Test, against Bangladesh in Manchester last month, where he took four wickets in the match for 63 runs.

It appeared he was in line to miss out on selection for the team for the first of a four-Test series against Pakistan, given England's preference for playing only four specialist bowlers.

However, some impressive displays during England's one-day series win against Bangladesh had seen Shahzad put himself in competition for a Test place with the likes of James Anderson.

England national selector Geoff Miller, speaking to Sky Sports, said of Shahzad: "His career's just starting. There's lots for him to work at. It's disappointing for him, obviously, but he'll fight back.

"We'll monitor and work on his problem, his ankle. He'll come in and the medical staff will work on him," the former England off-spinnet added.

Looking to the second Test, Miller said: "We'll keep it open.

"We're not picking sides for the two Test matches -- we're doing it separately, Test by Test."

As for Bresnan's inclusion, Miller said: "We've created over the last year or so a strength in depth so we've got international-quality players who can fill in at any given time.

"Tim comes into the squad. It's a squad of 12 and obviously somebody will be left out. We don't know who that will be at this stage, we'll wait and see what the surface and the conditions are like."

Turning to the pitch, Miller said: "Typical Trent Bridge really - very good wicket. There's a little bit of a cracking on it but they don't seem to break up too much. "We think we know what it's going to play like so we'll select accordingly."

First Published: Jul 28, 2010 16:38 IST