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Flintoff to lead England

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Andrew Flintoff

Andrew Flintoff © Getty Images

The England selectors have appointed Andrew Flintoff as captain of a 16-man Test squad for the Ashes Test series in Australia and a 14-man one-day squad for the ICC Champions Trophy in India.

Flintoff, who led England in the Test and one-day series in India last winter and in this summer’s npower Test series against Sri Lanka, resumes the leadership role which he was forced to relinquish through injury to Andrew Strauss for the duration of the recent npower Test and NatWest Series against Pakistan.

Chairman of selectors David Graveney said: “We have had to make a very tough decision in choosing between Andrew Flintoff and Andrew Strauss for the captaincy and we were fortunate to have two such outstanding candidates available to us in Michael Vaughan’s absence.

“Ultimately, we took the view that Andrew Flintoff had demonstrated excellent leadership skills during a difficult tour of India earlier this year, that he was the man in possession and deserved a further opportunity to continue as captain."

The England selectors also announced that Ashley Giles will travel to India for the ICC Champions Trophy with the ODI squad in order to continue his rehabilitation from a hip injury.

Giles will not be eligible to play in the tournament but will need to prove his match fitness prior to the Ashes tour, and arrangements will be made for him to play competitive cricket within India.

James Anderson and Stephen Harmison are also expected to play first-class cricket before the end of the current domestic season in order to prove their fitness ahead of the winter’s tour programme.

Simon Jones, however, has been advised by a specialist to delay his return to cricket until the 2007 domestic season following surgery on his left knee.

ECB chief medical officer Dr Peter Gregory said: “Simon recently travelled to America for a re-assessment of the left knee which was operated on earlier in the summer by a specialist based in Colorado.

“He underwent an arthroscopy which showed that the knee has responded well to the micro-fracturing treatment designed to repair the joint surface.

“The specialist is encouraged by Simon’s progress but he has advised that any return to competitive cricket should be delayed until next season in order to give the surgery the best chance of succeeding.”

The announcement also included the naming of a 14-man ECB National Academy Squad which will be based in Western Australia for a five-week period during the Ashes Test series under the management of National Academy director Peter Moores.

The Academy squad’s winter programme has been revised to ensure that it is now of maximum benefit to both the England team and the Academy players.

Michael Vaughan will continue his rehabilitation from knee surgery in the UK. He will not travel to Australia until he is able to start cricket-related training but is aiming to be fit for the VB Series.

The award of ECB 12-month contracts to England players will be announced on September 20. England’s one-day squad for the VB Series will be announced in Australia during the Ashes Test series.

Winter tour parties

ICC Champions Trophy squad:

Andrew Flintoff (Lancashire, captain)
James Anderson (Lancashire)
Ian Bell (Warwickshire)
Rikki Clarke (Surrey)
Paul Collingwood (Durham)
James Dalrymple (Middlesex)
Stephen Harmison (Durham)
Ed Joyce (Middlesex)
Sajid Mahmood (Lancashire)
Jon Lewis (Gloucestershire)
Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire)
Chris Read (Nottinghamshire)
Andrew Strauss (Middlesex)
Michael Yardy (Sussex)

Ashes Test Series squad:

Andrew Flintoff (Lancashire, captain)
James Anderson (Lancashire)
Ian Bell (Warwickshire)
Paul Collingwood (Durham)
Alastair Cook (Essex)
Ashley Giles (Warwickshire)
Stephen Harmison (Durham)
Matthew Hoggard (Yorkshire)
Geraint Jones (Kent)
Sajid Mahmood (Lancashire)
Monty Panesar (Northamptonshire)
Liam Plunkett (Durham)
Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire)
Chris Read (Nottinghamshire)
Andrew Strauss (Middlesex)
Marcus Trescothick (Somerset)

ECB National Academy squad:

Ravi Bopara (Essex)
Stuart Broad (Leicestershire)
Rikki Clarke (Surrey)
James Dalrymple (Middlesex)
Steven Davies (Worcestershire)
Ed Joyce (Middlesex)
Robert Key (Kent)
Jon Lewis (Gloucestershire)
Graham Onions (Durham)
Matt Prior (Sussex)
Owais Shah (Middlesex)
Tom Smith (Lancashire)
Chris Tremlett (Hampshire)
Michael Yardy (Sussex)

Ashes tour 2006-07 itinerary

Warm-up matches

Nov 10 v Australian Prime Minister’s XI, Canberra
Nov 12-14 v New South Wales (practice match), Sydney
Nov 17-19 v South Australia, Adelaide
Dec 9-10 v Western Australia, Perth

Ashes Test Series

Nov 23-27 v Australia (first 3-mobile Test), Brisbane
Dec 1-5 v Australia (second 3-mobile Test), Adelaide
Dec 14-18 v Australia (third 3-mobile Test), Perth
Dec 26-30 v Australia (fourth 3-mobile Test), Melbourne
Jan 2-6 v Australia (fifth 3-mobile Test), Sydney

Twenty20

Jan 9 v Australia, Sydney (day/night)

VB Series

Jan 12 v Australia, Melbourne (day/night)
Jan 16 v New Zealand, Hobart
Jan 19 v Australia, Brisbane (day/night)
Jan 23 v New Zealand, Adelaide (day/night)
Jan 26 v Australia, Adelaide (day/night)
Jan 30 v New Zealand, Perth (day/night tbc)
Feb 2 v Australia, Sydney (day/night)
Feb 6 v New Zealand, Brisbane (day/night tbc)
Feb 9 - First final, Melbourne (day/night)
Feb 11 - Second final, Sydney (day/night)
Feb 13 - Third final (if needed), Brisbane (day/night)