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Swann doubtful for England opener

ICC Cricket World Cup 2011

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Graeme Swann

It remains to be seen whether Graeme Swann will be ready to feature in England's opening World Cup match against the Netherlands

New father Graeme Swann appears to be England’s biggest doubt for their World Cup opener against the Netherlands as their injury victims continue to make good progress.

England's much-publicised injury problems seem to be waning with each of their seam bowlers now available.

Batsman Jonathan Trott, meanwhile, is set to play through the pain after an X-ray on his finger, which received a blow in the lead-up to yesterday’s warm-up game against Pakistan, showed no break.

Swann is due to link up with the England squad tomorrow following the birth of his first child, Wilfred. Whether or not he plays on Tuesday is yet to be decided.

“We’ve just got to assess how he is when he gets out here,” said England team director Andy Flower. “He gets out two days before the first game against the Netherlands, and we’ll have to assess how he is from jetlag etc.”

Should Swann play, a formerly ailing bowling attack could be at full strength after Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan, Ajmal Shahzad and James Anderson all proved their fitness in warm-up games against Canada and Pakistan, whom England beat by 67 runs yesterday.

“Broad has come through with flying colours both fitness-wise and skills-wise,” said Flower. “Bresnan came through yesterday’s game very strongly with no ill effects. Shahzad came through the Canada game well and looks to be getting to full fitness. Jimmy had a stiff back from the flight and he’s got through that.”

England had a few scary moments yesterday with both Trott and Kevin Pietersen, who sustained a minor knock to the knee, spending time off the pitch. Neither proved to be serious, though and tests allayed any fears about Trott.

“Trott had an X-ray on it after being hit in the warm-up,” said Flower. “It’s quite badly bruised. It’s a finger that he’s had problems with before. Luckily there’s no crack, so he’ll just have to play through the pain and he’ll be fine.”

Flower also confirmed that back-up bowler Chris Tremlett will stay with the squad indefinitely.

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