December 29, 2001

Thorpe and Caddick available to tour with England again

England's most consistent Test batsmen during the last year, Graham Thorpe, who left the recent tour of India early in order to attend to marital problems at home, has made himself available to go back to India for the one-day series and then on to New Zealand.

This was announced in a media release from the England and Wales Cricket Board today. It also said that Andrew Caddick, who withdrew from the England tour of India in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, has also confirmed his availability for the one-day series in India and both legs of the tour to New Zealand.

Graham Thorpe said: "The past few weeks have been a difficult time for me and my family and I am grateful to the selectors for giving me as much time as I needed to come to this decision.

"I now firmly believe that I can commit myself fully to cricket again and I hope to play a full part in both the one-day series in India and the one-day and Test series in New Zealand."

Chairman of selectors, David Graveney, added: "The selectors appreciate that this has been a difficult time for Graham and we are delighted that he has decided to commit himself in full to the remaining part of this winter's tour programme. He is our leading batsman and I am sure that he will have a significant part to play in both India and New Zealand over the next three months."

Thorpe had not appeared to be himself in the early stages of the tour to India before announcing that he was returning home on the eve of the second Test in Ahmedabad. It will be a source of delight in the England camp if he can return to his form of old as he takes his place in the middle order.

Caddick had forged a top-class new ball partnership with Darren Gough before the Yorkshireman decided to make himself unavailable for the Indian tour prior to the announcement of the teams. Caddick then decided he was not happy with the security situation and withdrew from the Test tour to India.

As well as going to India now, he is also available to return to the land of his birth, New Zealand. The composition of England's team to contest the Test series in New Zealand will be announced in due course, but there are no changes to the original squads already announced for the preceding one-day series in India and New Zealand.

The England party leave for India on January 10th.