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Rediff.com  » Cricket » England pick surprise packet Bopara in Cup 15

England pick surprise packet Bopara in Cup 15

February 14, 2007 19:40 IST

England chairman of selectors David Graveney unveiled his 15-man World Cup squad on Wednesday, saying he hoped captain Michael Vaughan would be fit to lead the team in the tournament in the West Indies.

The one surprise in the squad is the inclusion of 21-year-old Essex all-rounder Ravi Bopara, who made his one-day international debut against Australia in the recent series.

"The selectors were delighted with the team's outstanding performance in winning the Commonwealth Bank Series and we have retained the bulk of the squad who were in Australia for the World Cup," 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. Kevin Pietersen, however, is now fully recovered from his rib injury and will be keen to make an impact in his first World Cup."

Graveney continued: "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 are scheduled to leave for the Caribbean on March 2 and play their first warm-up match against Bermuda in St Vincent on March 5. 

Their first match in the tournament's Group Stage is against New Zealand in St Lucia on March 16. They also face Kenya and Canada in Group C.

England squad: Michael Vaughan (captain), Ed Joyce, Ravi Bopara, Ian Bell, Andrew Strauss, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Andrew Flintoff, Paul Nixon (wicketkeeper), Jamie Dalrymple, Monty Panesar, Jon Lewis, James Anderson, Liam Plunkett, Sajid Mahmood.

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