Anderson and Cook for England

In the midst of another severe injury crisis, England have called up James Anderson and Alastair Cook from the current ‘A’ team tour of the West Indies. The two will join the senior team at the nearest possible venture to ensure that they are available for selection for the first Test match on March 1, if needed.

Cook and Anderson were participating in the first unofficial Test against West Indies ‘A’ when they received the news, and were forced to pull out of the game to begin packing. With injuries to captain Michael Vaughan, Kevin Pietersen, Liam Plunkett and Paul Collingwood as the latest in a growing list, the urgency of the call is eminent.

Cook, the 21-year-old Essex opening batsman, has been a big prospect in English cricket for some time now. He has not yet played an international, but has experience with the senior squad when he was called up to the Pakistan tour as injury cover for Vaughan late last year. In 36 First Class matches, Cook has scored 2567 runs at a healthy average of 43.50.

James Anderson was part of the Test touring party to Pakistan, but was omitted from the team to India as the selectors favoured fellow quick, Plunkett. Anderson was listed in the squad for the limited overs series, but gets an early call to resume his on-and-off Test career. Still just 23, Anderson has been in and out of the England Test team since 2003. In 12 matches he has taken 35 wickets at an average of 36.39.

Vaughan underwent knee surgery last December – his third such procedure in the space of 6 years – but found the injury resurfacing in the build-up to England’s tour match against the Indian Board President’s XI. Collingwood was also forced to miss the game with a back injury, whilst Pietersen (back) and Plunkett (heel) have had hindered participation in the match due to their ailments.

Seam bowler Simon Jones and spinner Shaun Udal are also sidelined with stomach bugs.

Michael Vaughan, Paul Collingwood, Simon Jones, Shaun Udal, James Anderson, Kevin Pietersen, Liam Plunkett.

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