Flintoff facing heavy burden as England omit KP

LONDON: Injury prone all-rounder Andrew Flintoff faces a taxing schedule after being named in all three of England's one-day squads here on Monday - each one missing injured batsman Kevin Pietersen.

Flintoff, who is set to make his farewell to Test cricket in this week's Ashes decider here at the Oval despite still struggling with a knee problem, has made it clear he wants to remain a force in one-day internationals (ODIs).

And the England selectors appear to have taken the 31-year-old at his word.

He was included in the 15-man party from which England will pick their side for the seven home ODIs against Australia that follow hard on the heels of the Ashes finale before that squad heads to South Africa for the Champions Trophy where England will bid to win their first major one-day title.

Test captain Andrew Strauss will lead a squad featuring just one uncapped player in Kent batsman Joe Denly.

But before that, and with star batsman Pietersen recovering from an Achilles injury, Flintoff will be a member of the 14-man squad that travels to Belfast for a match against Ireland that takes places just three days after the scheduled end of the decisive fifth Ashes Test.

That team will be captained by Paul Collingwood, in the rested Strauss' absence, as will the 15 man-squad chosen to face Australia in two Twenty20 internationals at Old Trafford - Flintoff's Lancashire home ground.

As well as Flintoff, Denly, leg-spinner Adil Rashid, wicket-keeper Matt Prior, Owais Shah and Ashes discard Ravi Bopara are in all three squads.

Jonathan Trott, Bopara's replacement at the Oval, only makes it into the Twenty20 squad as a batting stand-in for the absent Strauss.

But Alastair Cook, keeper James Foster, Test fast bowler Stephen Harmison, Ian Bell, Rob Key and all-rounder Dimitri Mascarenhas have all failed to make the cut for the Champions Trophy squad after being included in the provisional 30 and do not feature in England's other one-day parties either.

"We have kept faith with the bulk of the squad which was successful in the NatWest Series against West Indies earlier this summer and also included two players, Luke Wright and Adil Rashid, who were part of our squad for the ICC World T20," said England national selector Geoff Miller.

"Joe Denly has impressed the selectors for a while with some excellent performances in one-day cricket - and with Kevin Pietersen unavailable through injury, this is an excellent opportunity for Joe to step up to the next level and show what he is capable of."

Strauss ruled himself out of England's Twenty20 plans earlier this year but remains available for the 50-over format.

However, Miller said: "Andrew Strauss has led the side extremely well in both forms of cricket this summer."

"But the selectors felt it would be beneficial for him to have a short break from international cricket following the conclusion of the Ashes Test series, and Paul Collingwood will lead the side in Ireland and in the Twenty20s."


For the ODIS against Australia and the ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa:

Andrew Strauss (capt), James Anderson, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood, Joe Denly, Andrew Flintoff, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior (wkt), Adil Rashid, Owais Shah, Ryan Sidebottom, Graeme Swann, Luke Wright.

England squad for ODI v Ireland in Belfast on August 27:

Collingwood (capt), Anderson, Bopara, Bresnan, Broad, Denly, Flintoff, Morgan, Prior (wkt), Rashid, Shah, Swann, Sidebottom, Wright

England squad for the T20 internationals against Australia at Old Trafford on August 30 and September 1

Collingwood (capt), Anderson, Bopara, Bresnan, Broad, Denly, Flintoff, Morgan, Prior (wkt), Rashid, Shah, Sidebottom, Swann, Ian Trott, Wright