August 29, 2003

England delay squad announcement

Wisden CricInfo staff

England have delayed naming their squad for the fifth and final npower Test against South Africa at The Oval, after their preparations were hampered by a number of fitness concerns. James Kirtley has been ruled out of the squad after medical scans revealed that he is suffering from shin-splints, while Martin Bicknell is also doubtful with a hamstring injury.

"We need more time to re-assess our options in light of the injuries to Kirtley and Bicknell," said David Graveney, England's chairman of selectors. "Delaying the announcement will enable us to make further checks on the form and fitness of possible replacements."

England are already due to be without Nasser Hussain through injury. He will miss next week's match at The Oval with a broken toe sustained during the fourth Test at Headingley. Graham Thorpe is on standby for a recall.

The squad is now due to be announced at 9.05am on Sunday morning.