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January 3, 2002
The England and Wales Cricket Board has announced a 16-man squad for the three-Test tour of New Zealand that begins on March 2nd with a warm-up match against Otago. At the same time, it has been announced that all-rounder Craig White will miss the series of one-day internationals in India starting later this month to undergo keyhole surgery on a knee injury.
For the Test tour of New Zealand, Andrew Caddick returns to the team after missing the trip to India because of security concerns after September 11th. Andrew Flintoff, who bowled particularly well in India after joining the party from the National Academy in Adelaide, retains his place in the squad.
The two players from the squad who went to India to miss out are Richard Johnson and Martyn Ball. Johnson was called into the Test squad three times last summer without making his debut, and misses out again having been called into the Indian touring party when Somerset colleague Caddick withdrew. Gloucestershire off-spinner Ball was another replacement, in his case for Robert Croft who is also omitted. He has lost his place to Richard Dawson who made a promising debut in India.
Pace bowler James Ormond, who played in the fifth Test against Australia last summer and in the first Test against India at Mohali, is included in the squad subject to passing a fitness test on an injured shoulder.
Chairman of selectors, David Graveney, said: "In picking this squad, we were keen to retain the nucleus of the team which exceeded many people's expectations in India before Christmas in drawing two Test Matches and losing one.
"Andrew Flintoff made a significant impact with the ball on the sub-continent and he thoroughly deserves to retain his place in the squad. Andrew Caddick is a high-class bowler of proven pedigree at Test level and we are delighted to have him back in both the Test and one-day squad.
"It was always our intention to reduce the number of spinners in the party from three to two for the second leg of this winter's tour as we expect to encounter more seamer-friendly surfaces in New Zealand.
"While Robert Croft remains in our thoughts for the future, Richard Dawson showed great promise in India and we are keen to give him an opportunity to develop his international career still further."
The full squad: Nasser Hussain (captain), Usman Afzaal, Mark Butcher, Andrew Caddick, Richard Dawson, Andrew Flintoff, James Foster, Ashley Giles, Warren Hegg, Matthew Hoggard, James Ormond, Mark Ramprakash, Graham Thorpe, Marcus Trescothick, Michael Vaughan, Craig White.
Meanwhile, Yorkshire all-rounder Craig White will miss England's forthcoming one-day series in India in order to undergo keyhole surgery on his left knee.
White will be out of action for between three and four weeks but he is expected to be fit for the New Zealand leg of the forthcoming tours. Consequently, it is not considered necessary to name a replacement.
White, who underwent a scan over the Christmas break, aggravated the injury during the last day of the 3rd Test against India in Bangalore.
The all-rounder, who scored his maiden Test century against India in Ahmedabad in December, underwent a successful operation on his right knee last autumn and was not included in the ODI squad which toured Zimbabwe.
England are due to play five ODIs in New Zealand later this winter with the first match scheduled for February 13th, giving White sufficient time to recover full fitness.
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