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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 May 2006, 11:40 GMT 12:40 UK
Mahmood in line for Lord's chance
Sajid Mahmood
Mahmood played in the recent one-day series in India
England's selectors have hinted that Sajid Mahmood could make his Test debut against Sri Lanka at Lord's next week.

The 24-year-old was due to line up for the England A team in a three-day game with the tourists starting on Thursday.

But after injuries to Simon Jones (knee) and James Anderson (back) the Lancashire paceman has been pulled out.

"He's one of our quicker bowlers and Duncan Fletcher rightly sees at Test level that you have to bowl with pace," chief selector David Graveney said.

"In the absence of Anderson and Steve Harmison he will be up there in terms of being a quicker bowler.

"Lets see what conditions we encounter at Lord's, but you can read into his withdrawal from the A game that he will be in the frame for the Test match."

Durham's Liam Plunkett was also named in the A team line-up and will still take on the Sri Lankans at Worcester's New Road.

Meanwhile Mahmood will feature for Lancashire in their Championship game against Kent on Wednesday.

"Liam is also under consideration for the first Test but he will play for England A as Durham do not have a four-day game this week and this will provide him with further match practice," Graveney added.

They have got to go for the young guys Plunkett and Mahmood
Angus Fraser

Mahmood has taken four wickets in as many one-day internationals and made his debut against New Zealand two years ago.

He conceded 56 in seven overs in that game at Bristol and was even more expensive in the third one-dayer against India in Goa, going for 66 off eight.

The Bolton-born seamer, cousin of boxer Amir Khan, bounced back by taking 3-37 in the sixth match and is rated highly by the England hierarchy.

Former England paceman Angus Fraser believes the time is right to give him his Test bow.

"They have got to go for the young guys Plunkett and Mahmood," he told BBC Sport.

"If you are looking ahead to the Ashes, there is a possibility that one of the main guys might be unfit or break down during the series.

"At least in that situation the likes of Plunkett or Mahmood might have the experience of three or four Tests behind them."


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