Vaughan's captaincy no issue
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Vaughan's captaincy no issue

He is set to continue as England's Test and one-day captain when he eventually returns from a knee injury, according to chairman of selectors David Graveney.

india Updated: Apr 17, 2006 17:49 IST

Michael Vaughan is set to continue as England's Test and one-day captain when he eventually returns from a knee injury, according to chairman of selectors David Graveney.

Vaughan missed the whole of England's series in India when his longstanding knee problem flared up again and that led to suggestions the 31-year-old could stand down from limited overs cricket in order to extend his Test career.

However, Graveney said fresh talk about two permanent captains was not something on his agenda or that of England coach Duncan Fletcher.

"It hasn't been a subject that has cropped up in my discussions— which have mainly been about support for Vaughan— or whatever discussions I've had with Duncan when I've made contact with him in India."

After regular vice-captain Marcus Trescothick also came home early from India, all-rounder Andrew Flintoff led England to a highly creditable 1-1 draw in the Test series before the side went down 5-1 in the one-dayers.

Andrew Strauss also filled in as skipper when all-rounder Flintoff was rested to extend England's leadership options in the event of a permanent vacancy.

Vaughan, while making it clear he wanted to continue as both Test and one-day captain, said last week, "In the future if a stage comes whereby missing out on one form of the game will prolong my cricket for a few years then, of course, that decision will be made."

England were without several key players in India because of injury and some of those star names could yet be out of action come next month's first Test against Sri Lanka at Lord's.

But Trescothick (virus) and paceman Simon Jones (knee) are both hopeful of being available after lengthy spells on the sidelines

And with an Ashes tour and World Cup on the horizon, not to mention home Test and one-day series against both Sri Lanka and Pakistan as well as the ICC Champions Trophy, Graveney was adamant England would not repeat past mistakes and rush injured players back into action before they were fully fit.

"If you look back to the last time we went to Australia we were trying to force the issue," Graveney admitted. "This time our objective is to deliver our best team as fit as possible for next (northern) winter."

In the meantime Graveney said he would try to boost the confidence of Giles, who has given several pessimistic interviews about his cricket future.

"I've read the same reports about him as everybody else and there is a fine line between being realistic and pessimistic," Graveney said.

"Ashley has had this condition for a period of time and it's obviously a worry for him— if you have an operation to resolve your problem and regrettably you break down again then that's a worry for anyone.

"My job is to underline to Ashley how important he has been and will continue to be for English cricket and give us as much support as we can.

"Ian Bell and Sajid Mahmood did enough to warrant more opportunities but Matthew Prior, Vikram Solanki, Owais Shah, Gareth Batty and Matthew Hoggard will all be fortunate to retain places against Sri Lanka in the summer, even if England suffer another bout of injuries to senior players. Kabir Ali is borderline."

According to The Guardian, "underpinning the whole tour was the issue of burnout, crystalized in the hulking figures of Andrew Flintoff.

Even with specially laid-on charter flights, seven games in 19 days represented pure greed on behalf of Indian administrators, who show no sign of easing up, despite the pleas of the ICC president Ehsan Mani.

"In an ideal world Flintoff would have played the whole series. But once England had gone 4-0 down at Cochin he was too precious to waste on three meaningless one-dayers.

"As long as the Indian players' union delays joining the Federation of International Cricketers' Association, the cash cow will continue to be milked at will and the stars flogged into submission", the paper said.

It observed that the bottom line was that five defeats, one victory and a mini-riot in Guwahati have moved England roughly one step forward and one step back in their quest for a World Cup formula.

"If they are serious about avoiding a fourth successive flop in one-day cricket's biggest event, progress is needed— and fast".

First Published: Apr 17, 2006 17:49 IST