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Page last updated at 11:30 GMT, Thursday, 3 July 2008 12:30 UK

Flintoff misses out on Test squad

Andrew Flintoff
Flintoff has not been ruled out of playing in the later Tests

England have decided not to rush Andrew Flintoff into their squad for the first Test against South Africa on 10 July.

The selectors named an identical 12-man squad to the one that took part in the 2-0 series success against New Zealand.

Captain Michael Vaughan was passed fit despite a knee problem on Tuesday which required ice-pack treatment.

But Flintoff and fellow 2005 Ashes hero Simon Jones have been named in a preliminary 30-man squad for the one-day Champions Trophy in September.

England selector Geoff Miller said: "We're all eager to see Flintoff back playing for England but there's nothing to be gained from rushing him back until he has proved he's ready to meet the demands of Test cricket."

Fast bowler Jones has not played international cricket for nearly three years after a catalogue of injuries.

But after a switch from Glamorgan to Worcestershire his fitness has radically improved, helping him get back towards the wicket-taking form which made him such an asset to the 2005 Ashes side.

"I've worked hard all season really, so it is nice to know the selectors have taken some notice," said Jones.

"On your bad days, you do think slightly negatively sometimes but the way the season started and the new lease of life I have had at Worcester has really got me going into my cricket again.

"My lowest point was probably last year when things were going wrong.

"I had worked so hard to get where I needed to be and you do start doubting yourself then."

Nottinghamshire fast bowler Darren Pattinson, a 29-year-old Australian who holds a British passport because he was born in Grimsby, was an unexpected inclusion in the Champions Trophy squad.

Pattinson was signed by Notts for the season even though his previous experience of first-class cricket had been limited to only a handful of matches for Victoria, but he has had a tremendous season for his county.

The immediate attention, however, is on the Lord's Test match starting next Thursday.

And with Flintoff having played just one first-class match since recovering from a side strain, he must wait until later in the series before getting his chance.

It continues a frustrating journey for the Lancashire all-rounder, who has not played a Test for 18 months.

He seemed to have conquered his various ankle problems before straining his side just before the first Test of the summer against New Zealand.

Darren Pattinson
Darren Pattinson has risen to prominence extremely rapidly

If, as expected, England leave Chris Tremlett out of their starting side, they will be able to field an unchanged starting line-up for the sixth Test in succession, a new world record.

Miller added: "There have been a number of players pushing for selection in recent weeks which is extremely pleasing.

"But consistency in selection and consistency in performance has led us to maintain the same squad for the first Test against South Africa.

"Andrew Flintoff has worked extremely hard to be back playing some very good cricket for Lancashire which is a credit to his determination and patience.

"The selectors are keen to see Andrew get more overs under his belt and spend some more time in the middle before recalling him to the Test side."

BBC Radio 5 Live reporter Pat Murphy said: "Lancashire have a Championship match at the Rose Bowl starting a week on Friday.

"If Flintoff gets some runs and wickets he must be in the frame for the second Test at Leeds.

"South Africa have a hostile attack and England will be looking to fight fire with fire."

The Champions Trophy squad will be reduced to 15 by 11 August, with England's opening match of the tournament coming against Sri Lanka in Karachi on 14 September.

England Test squad for 1st npower Test v South Africa:
Michael Vaughan (Yorkshire, capt), Tim Ambrose (Warwickshire, wkt), James Anderson (Lancashire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Paul Collingwood (Durham), Alastair Cook (Essex), Monty Panesar (Northamptonshire), Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire), Ryan Sidebottom (Nottinghamshire), Andrew Strauss (Middlesex), Chris Tremlett (Hampshire).

England's 30-man ICC Champions Trophy Squad:
Tim Ambrose (Warwickshire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Ravi Bopara (Essex), Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Michael Carberry (Hampshire), Paul Collingwood (Durham), Alastair Cook (Essex), Andrew Flintoff (Lancashire), Simon Jones (Worcestershire), Ed Joyce (Middlesex), Rob Key (Kent), Sajid Mahmood (Lancashire), Dimitri Mascarenhas (Hampshire), Phil Mustard (Durham), Graham Onions (Durham), Monty Panesar (Northamptonshire), Samit Patel (Nottinghamshire), Darren Pattinson (Nottinghamshire), Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire), Liam Plunkett (Durham), Matt Prior (Sussex), Owais Shah (Middlesex), Ryan Sidebottom (Nottinghamshire), Andrew Strauss (Middlesex), Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire), James Tredwell (Kent), Chris Tremlett (Hampshire), Luke Wright (Sussex).

see also
Flintoff fifty seals Lancs win
02 Jul 08 |  Counties
Flintoff shines at the Riverside
27 Jun 08 |  Counties
Jones 'close to England recall'
27 Jun 08 |  Worcestershire
SA's Smith set to make first Test
27 Jun 08 |  South Africa
SA recall Nel for England series
23 May 08 |  South Africa
Vaughan focuses on tougher tests
08 Jun 08 |  England
South Africa in England in 2008
14 Nov 07 |  Cricket

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