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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 February 2007, 06:49 GMT
Vaughan out of tri-series finals
Michael Vaughan
England skipper Vaughan will head back to the UK on Saturday
England captain Michael Vaughan is out of the one-day series finals against Australia with a hamstring injury.

Vaughan, 32, aggravated his torn left hamstring in his side's 14-run win over New Zealand in Brisbane on Tuesday.

He will return home on Saturday and has been advised to rest for 10 days but his participation in the World Cup is not in jeopardy at the moment.

Andrew Flintoff will take charge for the first match of the best-of-three finals in Melbourne on Friday.

Vaughan missed five matches after first suffering the problem in England's second game of the series against New Zealand in Hobart on 15 January, which was the team's first victory on their tour of Australia.

He aggravated it in practice a few days later in Perth and again in Brisbane.

The medical staff have told me there is absolutely no doubt I will be on the plane for the World Cup

Michael Vaughan

The latest blow comes after a 13-month lay-off from international duty with knee problems.

"It has been very disappointing on this tour to have no problems with my right knee and then a hamstring comes about," the Yorkshire star said.

"I am desperate to play but we have to look at the future and certainly the next few weeks with the World Cup in mind.

"The medical staff have told me there is absolutely no doubt I will be on the plane for the World Cup."

All-rounder Flintoff led the team in the 5-0 Ashes Test series defeat and has also been skipper in the one-dayers Vaughan has missed.

When he's not captain he feels a little bit freer, his bowling is a lot more confident and there's a weight off his shoulders

Duncan Fletcher on Flintoff

Coach Duncan Fletcher said on Wednesday the Lancastrian was much happier without the burden of captaincy.

Flintoff was one of the keys to England's 2-1 Ashes triumph in 2005, when Vaughan was skipper, scoring 402 runs and taking 24 wickets.

But as captain in the 2006/7 series he managed 254 runs in five Tests - all of which his team lost - and claimed only 11 wickets, although he only returned to action in the Champions Trophy in November following ankle surgery in the summer.

606 DEBATE: Your views on Vaughan's injury

"We feel when he's not captain he feels a little bit freer, his bowling is a lot more confident and there's a weight off his shoulders," Fletcher explained.

"He seems a lot more relaxed. Anyone who's not captain of the side would be a little bit more relaxed.

"I don't think there's a captain who goes in there and feels very relaxed when he's leading his country."



SEE ALSO
England call up Broad for finals
07 Feb 07 |  England
Flintoff back as England skipper
17 Jan 07 |  England
Commonwealth Bank Series 2006/07
30 Jan 07 |  England


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