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Page last updated at 13:16 GMT, Sunday, 11 May 2008 14:16 UK

Hoggard recalled to England squad

Matthew Hoggard
Hoggard performed well for England Lions last week

Matthew Hoggard has been named in a 12-man squad for England's first two Tests against New Zealand.

Hoggard comes in after Andrew Flintoff was ruled out with a side strain. The first Test of the three-match series begins on Thursday at Lord's.

Yorkshire's Hoggard collected three wickets for the England Lions against the tourists on Friday.

England have had fitness concerns over Paul Collingwood and keeper Tim Ambrose but both are named in the squad.

Collingwood was given a pain-killing injection because of a shoulder problem during Durham's Championship defeat by Lancashire.

"Despite being faced with some injury concerns we've named what we think is an extremely strong England Test squad," said national selector Geoff Miller.

"Paul Collingwood received treatment to his right shoulder on Friday and we now need to see how he responds to that treatment before we have a definitive idea of his availability for the first Test.

"At this stage it's too early to say whether he will definitely play as he will be reassessed in the lead up to Thursday."

Ambrose has a sore neck but he is confident he will shake it off in time to make his first home Test appearance.

Hoggard was understandably delighted at his inclusion but said he did not expect to walk straight back in to the side.

"There's a long way to go but obviously I'm very happy about being included," admitted the 31-year-old.

If I hadn't been in the squad I'd have thought that could have been the end of me

Matthew Hoggard

"The 11 who played in the last Test in New Zealand finished with two winning Tests so I need to keep knocking on the door because they're in the driving seat at the moment.

"I was hoping to get back into the squad because I thought I'd done enough to get back in and make sure I stayed in. If I hadn't been in the squad I'd have thought that could have been the end of me."

If England field the same team that allowed them to bounce back from going 1-0 behind in New Zealand earlier this year, to win the series 2-1, then Hoggard would be left out.

He needs one of Stuart Broad, James Anderson or Monty Panesar to be dropped in order to start.

Hoggard said: "I'm quite capable of starting at Lord's if you look at my record, but they are the men in possession at the moment."

"Jimmy's bowling really well, he's just got a five-for against Durham, and the other lads I played against at Headingley and they're bowling well. It's up to the selectors but it's good for English cricket that there's all these people vying for not so many places."

Miller added: "Andrew Flintoff was obviously unavailable for selection due to a side strain, which is a shame for Andrew and for England, but I know he'll continue to work hard with the Lancashire medical team and be back in contention in due course.

"Clearly there is very healthy competition for places in this Test side, which can only be good for England.

"The selection of this squad maintains a position of continuity from the winter following a series win against New Zealand.

"We're expecting an equally tough series here at home and believe we have a squad capable of building on the success stemming from last winter."

He added: "The decision to leave the likes of Stephen Harmison out of the squad was a difficult one but we've no doubt that Stephen, along with several other players, will continue to fight every inch of the way to stake a claim for England selection."

England squad: MP Vaughan (Yorkshire, capt), AN Cook (Essex), AJ Strauss (Middlesex), KP Pietersen (Hampshire), IR Bell (Warwickshire), PD Collingwood (Durham), TR Ambrose (Warwickshire, wkt), SCJ Broad (Nottinghamshire), RJ Sidebottom (Nottinghamshire), MS Panesar (Northamptonshire), JM Anderson (Lancashire), MJ Hoggard (Yorkshire).

see also
Collingwood suffers injury worry
09 May 08 |  England
Anderson stars in Lancashire romp
09 May 08 |  Counties
Ambrose injury scare for England
09 May 08 |  Counties
England in New Zealand 2008
26 Mar 08 |  Cricket

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