Bopara replaces Pietersen

Essex batsman Ravi Bopara has been called into the England squad for the Commonwealth Bank tri-series, to replace injured star Kevin Pietersen. Pietersen went down in the opening game on Friday after charging down the wicket to a back of a length delivery from Glenn McGrath. Pietersen misjudged the bounce and was struck a nasty blow, resulting in a fractured rib. The injury has ruled him out for the remainder of the series.

Bopara has recently been training in Australia with the England Academy side, and his performances in that time and in recent years for Essex saw him selected ahead of other potential candidates to fill the gap in the squad. However, it is likely that Pietersen’s place will be filled in the immediate future by Ed Joyce, and Bopara will remain as support.

Along with the Bopara call-up, the England selectors also announced their provisional 30 man squad for the World Cup. Among the shock exclusions were Fletcher favourite Geraint Jones and former opener Marcus Trescothick, who pulled out of the Australian tour for stress related reasons. Darren Gough was also excluded from the group, ending speculation that he would be called up to the squad for the World Cup due to his experience.

Bopara was included in the 30 man lineup, along with three other uncapped players – Amjad Khan, Mal Loye and Graham Onions. The squad will be cut in half on February 15.

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