England news June 7, 2010

Australia denied first look at Finn

Cricinfo staff

Australia are to be denied the chance to have a look at Steven Finn ahead of the Ashes this winter. He will have a break from cricket after playing a leading role with the ball in England's 2-0 series win over Bangladesh and is set to undertake a strengthening programme similar to that performed by Stuart Broad. As such, he will not take part in domestic cricket or any of the ODIs ahead of England's Test series against Pakistan.

"Steven Finn has had an impressive start to the summer and will now undertake a strengthening programme similar to that recently undertaken by Stuart Broad," said Geoff Miller, England's national selector. "This will also rule Steven out of the NatWest Series against Australia and Bangladesh before his preparation for the npower Test series against Pakistan."

However, England coach Andy Flower insisted the move had nothing to do with hiding Finn ahead of the winter's Ashes tour and preventing Australia make early notes about the tall quick bowler. "It does not have anything to do with Australia, or the Australian [ODI] series," he said.

"I would be very strong in the description that this is definitely not rest," he added. "He will not be resting; he will be doing a very intensive strengthening programme. He is a young man that needs to develop more physically, and there is a window of opportunity to do that. The reason he is being pulled out of Twenty20 is he needs this in the same way Stuart Broad did.

"It is the responsible thing to do for him personally and in the best interests, medium and long term, of the English cricket side."

Andrew Strauss and Graeme Swann are also going to be rested ahead of England's upcoming one-day internationals against Scotland, Australia and Bangladesh and will be unavailable for any Friends Provident domestic Twenty20 games before their international engagements.

Miller explained that while Twenty20 cricket gives the players the chance to switch from a Test to a limited-overs mindset, it is important to be mindful of regulating player workloads.

"The coming rounds of the Friend's Provident t20 matches are an ideal opportunity for several England players to switch their focus from Test cricket to limited-overs cricket as we look ahead to the forthcoming one-day International against Scotland and the NatWest Series against Australia and Bangladesh," he said.

"We must be mindful of the management of the players' workload and their desire to play in what is a hugely exciting Twenty20 competition. Graeme Swann is in need of a well earned break and as a result won't play any cricket during this period. We believe the best preparation for Andrew Strauss's build up to the NatWest series does not involve the Friend's Provident t20 fixtures and as such he won't be available for these matches during this period."

James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood, and Kevin Pietersen will have a week's rest but will be available to play domestic Twenty20s from June 13. Alastair Cook will receive treatment for an ongoing back injury later this week before returning for Essex on the same date.

"I feel for the counties when we make these decisions on players and pull them out of county games," Flower said. "The directors of cricket and coaches and captains are under their own pressure with results.

"When you pull their best players out of competitive matches it is quite a hit for them. I realise it requires a lot of understanding from them, and we very much appreciate it."

Ian Bell, Eoin Morgan, Ajmal Shahzad, Ryan Sidebottom, Matt Prior and Jonathan Trott will be available for all county fixtures until June 15. England play Scotland in Edinburgh on June 19 before five ODIs against Australia, starting on June 22, and three against Bangladesh.