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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 August, 2004, 11:30 GMT 12:30 UK
Academy changes emphasis
Ian Bell
Bell was unlcuky to miss out on the South African tour

Ian Bell will return to the England Academy after failing to win a place in the squad to tour South Africa.

The Warwickshire batsman is one of 12 players chosen to work with coach Rod Marsh this winter.

Others include Kevin Pietersen, Rikki Clarke and Owais Shah, and under-19 captain Alastair Cook is one of seven youngsters who will attend part-time.

"We're working much more on individual player programmes than we have in the past," Marsh commented.

"Duncan Fletcher has stated what he is looking for in the England team and what the selectors have tried to do is pick a group of players who fit the bill in terms of what is required at international level."

He added: "In the new year it is our intention to send two fast bowlers with Troy Cooley to the MRF Pace Academy in Chennai to work with Dennis Lillee.

"We also hope to send a spinner and a batsman to Mumbai to further improve their techniques and these trips will have finished prior to the start of the England A tour."

Jon Lewis
Lewis is one of the most consistent seamers on the county circuit

Also included in the Academy intake is uncapped Gloucestershire seam bowler Jon Lewis, who is on stand-by to join the Test squad in South Africa in case of injuries.

It is the first international recognition since the 2000-01 England A tour to the West Indies for both Lewis and Northamptonshire's spin bowling all-rounder Graeme Swann.

The Academy also offers Middlesex batsman Shah a chance to revive an international career which stalled last year after 15 one-day international appearances.

The squad will train at Lougborough before Christmas, with trips to the United Arab Emirates and Sri Lanka lined up in the New Year.

Academy squad: IR Bell (Warwickshire), R Clarke (Surrey), PJ Franks (Nottinghamshire), APR Gidman (Gloucestershire), DS Harrison (Glamorgan), J Lewis (Gloucestershire), SI Mahmood (Lancashire), K Pietersen (Nottinghamshire), MJ Powell (Glamorgan), MJ Prior (Sussex), OA Shah (Middlesex), GP Swann (Northamptonshire).

Players to attend on a part-time basis: AJ Cook (Essex), S Davies (Worcestershire), A Harrison (Glamorgan), J Hildreth (Somerset), LJ Plunkett (Durham), DJ Stiff (Kent), LJ Wright (Sussex).

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