August 16, 2002

Flintoff set for inclusion in England squad

Andrew Flintoff has been declared available for selection for the third Test against India, although a decision on whether he is fit enough to play will not be made until shortly before the match.

Flintoff saw a consultant surgeon in Manchester last night, and was told that he is likely to need a hernia operation in the near future, to alleviate the groin injury which has troubled him since the NatWest Series.

The injury will be re-assessed next week during England's practice period before the Headingley Test. The timing of the operation is likely to depend on that assessment.

"I will see how I go in the practice next week before the game and I hope I will be able to get through the Test Match," Flintoff told Sky Sports. "Then I will have to sit down with the England management team and decide on what happens after that.

"If I do (have a hernia operation), it's not a major thing. It's something a lot of footballers and rugby players have. The recovery period is four weeks and it's a question of if and when the best time to have it is."

Meanwhile Dominic Cork has recovered from the knee injury which he sustained in the second Test at Trent Bridge. Both Andrew Caddick and Alex Tudor are also available, after returning for their counties following injuries earlier this summer.

The England and Wales Cricket Board will announce the Test squad tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile James Kirtley has been named as the replacement for Darren Gough in England's squad for the ICC Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka next month.

Kirtley played four times in this summer's NatWest Series before breaking his hand half-way through the tournament. But he has proved his fitness in a successful comeback on 7 August in a Norwich Union League match against Surrey.