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Page last updated at 10:53 GMT, Friday, 15 October 2010 11:53 UK

Injured James Anderson will be fit for Ashes says ECB

James Anderson
Anderson is a key figure in England's bowling attack

England fast bowler James Anderson will be fit for next month's Ashes tour despite suffering a cracked rib, says the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Anderson, 28, is believed to have been injured in a sparring session during a recent team-building camp in Germany.

But the ECB said he is continuing his training programme and will fly with the rest of the squad on 29 October.

"It is anticipated that he will be fit and available for the first Test in Brisbane," said an ECB statement.

As well as boxing sessions, the camp in Germany included hiking and abseiling and was rounded off with a visit to the former Dachau concentration camp.

England play a tour match against Western Australia on 5 November ahead of the first Test on 25 November.

Meanwhile, Kevin Pietersen was out for a two-ball duck in his latest match in South Africa as he continued his struggle with the bat ahead of the winter tour to Australia.

The England batsman is playing the second of two first-class matches for Durban's Kwazulu Natal Dolphins.

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He made 36 against the Warriors in Pietermaritzburg eight days ago.

With the Dolphins chasing the Titans' 242, they were reduced to 19-2 when Pietersen came in but he was quickly dismissed by Ethy Mbhalati who claimed his third wicket of the match.

South African-born Pietersen is desperate to get back to his best for the series in Australia after a disappointing summer in which he made just one score of over 50 in Test cricket.

He has not scored a Test century since March 2009 and was dropped for the one-day series against Pakistan this year after he averaged only 23.33 in one-day games with a highest score of 80 in the Tests.

He joined Surrey on loan from Hampshire in September in a bid to recapture his form and had mixed success, scoring a century in a 40-over game against Sussex but following it up with a second-ball duck against Glamorgan.

Pietersen, 30, began his career with Natal before joining English county side Nottinghamshire in 2001.

Sir Ian Botham, the hero of England's 1981 Ashes win, believes England can emerge victorious in this winter's series and that two of Anderson's fellow bowlers could prove vital.

"I think England have the best chance since they won over there in 1986/87," he told BBC Sport.

"Graeme Swann is absolutely crucial, and England's choice of taking Chris Tremlett for the height on the Australian wickets was a very good and a very brave call.

"It's a massive experience going out there with bigger stadiums then you are used to - on Boxing Day there will be 100,000 screaming Aussies in Melbourne wanting your blood.

"If they don't get the startled rabbit and enjoy the atmosphere, England will win.

"I've had to listen a lot to gloating Australian commentators. It has made my blood boil and I want to be the one gloating in February and I think it will happen.

"[Australia captain] Ricky Ponting could be in an embarrassing position. He could lose three times to England."



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see also
Pietersen aims to recapture form
04 Oct 10 |  Cricket
Vaughan's tips for the Ashes
22 Sep 10 |  Cricket
Pietersen boosted by Surrey stint
16 Sep 10 |  Surrey
Pietersen to play in South Africa
09 Sep 10 |  England
Pietersen fined for Twitter rant
06 Sep 10 |  England
Pietersen cut from England team
01 Sep 10 |  Sport
Anderson puts England in command
30 Jul 10 |  England
Anderson praises England catching
01 Aug 10 |  England


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