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Last Updated: Sunday, 17 December 2006, 16:42 GMT
Giles returns to comfort ill wife
AF Giles
Ashley Giles had played in the first two Ashes Tests in Australia
Ashley Giles is returning from England's Ashes tour of Australia to be with his wife, Stine, who has been diagnosed as suffering a brain tumour.

The Warwickshire left-arm spinner will be replaced in the squad by Middlesex off-spinner Jamie Dalrymple, already in Australia with the Academy squad.

England coach Duncan Fletcher said: "This is very distressing news.

"The thoughts of all the players and management are with Ashley and Stine at such a difficult time."

Stine is a Norwegian by birth and the couple have a boy and a girl, Anders and Mathilde.

Fletcher went on: "It is typical of Ashley that he has dealt with this in such a professional manner, and we wish Stine a speedy recovery."

Fletcher stressed how impressed he has been by Giles' attitude in such trying circumstances.

"It's very difficult for him - especially knowing the man because he's a real professional cricketer," he said of the man who was dropped for the Perth Test in favour of Monty Panesar.

"I've been involved with England for seven years and I rate him as probably the most professional cricketer I've dealt with in England."

The club have offered Ash and Stine all the help and support

Colin Pavey
Warwickshire CCC

Giles returned to the England squad just in time for this winter's Ashes series, having spent almost a year on the sidelines because of hip and groin injuries.

"To come back and take the flak he did and suddenly get this news must be very hard," added Fletcher.

"He handled it very well. When he left on Friday night we just wished him well - and we hope everything turns out fine for the family."

Colin Povey, chief executive of Warwickshire County Cricket Club, said: "The club have offered Ash and Stine all the help and support they need to get through this difficult time."

The player arrived home in Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire on Sunday.

"Cricket is unimportant compared to family issues and my wife needs me to be here right now, and she's facing tough times ahead. It's important I'm here to get her through it," Giles commented.

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