June 7, 2001

Thorpe ruled out of opening NatWest Series games


England's in-form batsman Graham Thorpe has been ruled out of the first two opening NatWest Series games through a right calf muscle injury.

The Surrey batsman, who hit a century in the Second Test against Pakistan, sustained the injury while warming up for today's NatWest Series opener against Pakistan at Edgbaston.

His county colleague Ally Brown was drafted in as a replacement - the first time he has played in a One-Day International for three years.

It had been hoped that Thorpe would be available for England's next game against Australia in Bristol on Sunday but, after an examination, physiotherapist Dean Conway ruled out that possibility.

Thorpe's condition will now be assessed at Lord's on Monday before England's game against Pakistan at Headquarters on Tuesday.

England's selectors plan to name a temporary replacement for Thorpe in the next 24 hours as cover, with Worcestershire's Vikram Solanki and Owais Shah of Middlesex among the contenders.