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Page last updated at 14:42 GMT, Thursday, 18 February 2010

England rule out Twenty20 call-up for Craig Kieswetter

England Twenty20 captain Paul Collingwood and Pakistan stand-in skipper Shoaib Malik
England and Pakistan will face each other on Friday and Saturday

England have ruled out parachuting Craig Kieswetter into the squad for Friday's first Twenty20 international against Pakistan in Dubai.

The South Africa-born keeper has just completed his residence qualification and has scored 279 runs in five Twenty20 innings for England Lions.

But Twenty20 captain Paul Collingwood said: "There is no temptation to bring him in for the game.

"We've got a squad here - we've pretty much got the side set in our minds."

Opening the innings, Kieswetter smashed 81 from 66 balls on Wednesday as the Lions overcame the senior England team by five wickets in a warm-up game in Abu Dhabi.


The Somerset man has a remarkable average of 93 on this tour of the United Arab Emirates, having scored 31, 77 not out, 40 not out and 50 in the four preceding Lions games.

But even though Friday's and Saturday's games are the last Twenty20 internationals England will play before the ICC World Twenty20 begins in the West Indies at the end of April, Collingwood insists that England will keep faith with Joe Denly and Jonathan Trott at the top of the order in the shortest form of the game.

"You've got to back the guys and give them enough time to understand each other's games for them to build and perform well," Collingwood said.

"We've chopped and changed around a lot at the top of the order in the past but we believe we've got two guys who can score runs quickly.

"All the guys yesterday had a certain pressure to perform well and he (Kieswetter) certainly did that, but we believe we've got the skills and the players here."

Consistency of selection has historically been a problem for England in Twenty20 cricket.

They have used 47 players in 23 internationals, including nine different wicketkeepers and 14 different opening partnerships (only one of which has opened together more than twice) - Trott and Denly will be the 15th.

England have a 15-man squad to choose from in Dubai, but if they keep faith with the XI which faced the Lions, uncapped duo Ajmal Shahzad and James Tredwell are likely to be left out, along with stand-in Test skipper Alastair Cook and seamer Liam Plunkett.

Craig Kieswetter
England have resisted the temptation to call Kieswetter up

Meanwhile, reigning World Twenty20 champions Pakistan will be led by Shoaib Malik as regular Twenty20 captain Shahid Afridi is still serving a suspension for biting the ball in a one-day international in Australia.

But while former Test skipper Malik will also lead the side for Saturday's second game, even though Afridi will be free of suspension, he insists that Afridi will be back in charge for the World Twenty20.

"My country needs me to captain for the next two matches and that is a great honour but I prefer it as a player more," he said.

"Shahid Afridi is the right choice as captain. Of course it is a great honour to captain your country but Shahid has all the abilities to gel the boys together. We have been playing together for 11 years and in my opinion he is the right choice."

Malik also conceded that Pakistan had struggled since lifting the World Twenty20 trophy at Lord's last summer.

"We have been struggling ever since we went to Sri Lanka but you learn from your mistakes and I'm sure we will work hard on those things which we are lacking, especially the dropped catches," he said.

"That is an area we have to improve and we are working hard on our fielding."

Pakistan (from): Shoaib Malik (capt), Abdul Razzaq, Fawad Alam, Imran Farhat, Imran Nazir, Khalid Latif, Mohammad Talha, Saeed Ajmal, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Umar Akmal, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz, Yasir Arafat.

England (from): Paul Collingwood (capt), Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Joe Denly, Eoin Morgan, Kevin Pietersen, Liam Plunkett, Matt Prior (wk), Ajmal Shahzad, Ryan Sidebottom, Graeme Swann, James Tredwell, Jonathan Trott, Luke Wright.

Umpires: Asoka de Silva (Sri Lanka), Kumar Dharmasena (Sri Lanka).

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see also
Lions defeat England in warm-up
17 Feb 10 |  England
Collingwood demands England focus
15 Feb 10 |  England
Kieswetter stars in Lions victory
12 Feb 10 |  England
Lions begin with Twenty20 victory
10 Feb 10 |  England
Asif barred from England matches
08 Feb 10 |  Pakistan
Banned Afridi replaced by Malik
01 Feb 10 |  Cricket
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket
England in UAE & Bangladesh 2010
23 Feb 10 |  Cricket

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