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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 February 2007, 11:05 GMT
Vaughan captains World Cup squad
M Vaughan
Michael Vaughan has played just three of England's last 35 ODIs
England have confirmed that Michael Vaughan will skipper England in the World Cup, while the only surprise is that Mal Loye has been dropped.

Injury-prone Vaughan, who is currently recovering from a hamstring problem, has played just three of England's last 35 one-day internationals.

Loye, who hit 45 in the second final of the Commonwealth Bank Series, has been replaced by Essex's Ravi Bopara.

Kevin Pietersen, James Anderson and Jon Lewis all return after injuries.

Chairman of Selectors David Graveney, said: "Mal Loye can consider himself unfortunate not to be included as he made an encouraging start to his international career.

"We have included Ravi Bopara because we believe he is a multi-dimensional cricketer whose all-round talents will help give the squad a better balance."

England's number one batsman Pietersen, who missed all but one match of the Commonwealth Bank Series, has fully recovered from his rib injury.

Three other players are not currently fit, however.

Graveney said: "Michael Vaughan, James Anderson and Jon Lewis are all still recovering from injuries at present and have been named in the squad subject to a further re-assessment prior to our departure for the Caribbean.

"They will continue to undergo intensive treatment over the next fortnight and the medical staff will be giving the selectors regular updates on their progress."

No official vice-captain has been named, despite the possibility Vaughan's fitness could be an issue.

Ravi Bopara
Bopara (left) has unseated Loye

Flintoff deputised throughout the Australia tour, but Graveney said: "It's only right and appropriate that he has time with his family then I'll talk to him about his views."

He was vague about the captain's current fitness, saying only: "It is dangerous for the layman to quantify an injury.

"We have a staff who will keep us informed and we will give any player as much time as we can."

Any injured player can be replaced in the squad pending approval from the International Cricket Council's technical committee.

Graveney went on: "We have under-performed in World Cups and it's critical we start well and put in context winning our last four games.

"We are a young side and we have got to make sure we are on the money right away. Let's hope it's a very long tournament for us."

Ravi is a big-match player. In the game he played he was not inhibited and he epitomised the spirit of the young players around

Graveney on Bopara

England's first match is against New Zealand on 16 March. Their group also features minnows Canada and Kenya.

Bopara, 21, will be one of the more inexperienced players in the World Cup.

He has played in a single one-day international, and took the vital wicket of Michael Hussey in England's first victory of the winter over Australia.

Graveney said: "Ravi is a big-match player. In the game he played he was not inhibited and he epitomised the spirit of the young players around."

Loye, 34, replaced Vaughan in that squad, but his average of 20.28 was not enough to ensure his continued selection.

Paul Nixon is the only wicket-keeper in the 15. Graveney said that if necessary Andrew Strauss or Ed Joyce could take the gloves.

England squad: Michael Vaughan (captain, age 32, Yorkshire), Ed Joyce (28, Middlesex), Ian Bell (24, Warwickshire), Kevin Pietersen (26, Hampshire), Andrew Strauss (29, Middlesex), Paul Collingwood (30, Durham), Andrew Flintoff (29, Lancashire), Ravi Bopara (21, Essex), Paul Nixon (36, Leicestershire), Jamie Dalrymple (26, Middlesex), Liam Plunkett (21, Durham), James Anderson (24, Lancashire), Sajid Mahmood (25, Lancashire), Jon Lewis (31, Gloucestershire), Monty Panesar (24, Northants).

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