Gough hoping for a place in Champions Trophy squad
Darren Gough believes he has a shot at being named in England's provisional 30-man squad for October's Champions Trophy in India. "I'm not as quick as I used to be but I know where the ball is going. People say I'm not fit enough but I've been bowling well this year," he told BBC Sport. "In the Caribbean [in next year's World Cup] you're going to get hit off a good length so control is everything."
Gough, 35, last turned out in England colours back in July 2005 against Australia. Since then, England have lost 13 of their 16 limited-overs games. As he has done in the recent past, Gough said he could offer plenty of experience if the selectors saw felt his worth.
"My role with England would change now with Steve Harmison and the likes being the main strike bowlers, whereas I'd come on later and put it on a length and try to get a few wickets here or there," he said. "I know I can do a job and they know it too, so it's just up to them now. If they pick me then great, but if they don't, then I could probably understand. There's a World Cup around the corner, if it was after the World Cup I wouldn't expect to play again but it is looming up and you don't want to tinker being so close so we'll just have to wait and see."
Paul Collingwood remained confident that England could do well despite the absence of Michael Vaughan, Andrew Flintoff, Ashley Giles and Simon Jones. "The Champions Trophy is important for our one-day form and a stepping stone for the World Cup," he said. "We haven't played well in the one-dayers for the last few months but we believe we have the players to do very well so it's something to look forward to. Confidence is a massive thing in any sport and our confidence has dipped in the one-day game because the results have been poor. We've lost key one-day players but, as in the Tests, others need to come in and hold their hands up."
Among the youngsters tipped to be included in the provisional list are Stuart Broad, the Leicestershire fast bowler, Essex's Ravi Bopara, an allrounder, and the Surrey batsman James Benning. Lancashire's James Anderson is set to return to international cricket after a stress fracture of the back.