Vettori fit and ready to go

New Zealand’s indispensible all-rounder Daniel Vettori says he’s back to full fitness and all ready for the upcoming Champions Trophy campaign.

Just months after returning home from a planned season of county cricket for Warwickshire due to yet another back injury, Vettori says that after a period of rest and a rehabilitation programme he is “feeling good”, has been bowling in the nets recently and is prepared for the ICC Champions Trophy, held in India next month.

Such a vital part of New Zealand’s one-day international side, the news of Vettori’s return home due to injury and then the announcement that the injury was relating to his back came as crushing blows to Black Caps supporters. Having missed almost as many internationals as he’s played since his debut in 1997, the 27-year old has been plagued with back injuries since his first during the notoriously unlucky “invalids” tour of Southern Africa in late 2000.

It was thought by some that it might be a good idea to rest Vettori for the Champions Trophy, with the enormous role he is likely to play in next year’s World Cup, but he insists he’s “raring to go” and wants to play full part in next month’s tournament.

His return from injury is one of three comebacks for the Champions Trophy, the others being similarly injury-plagued stars Jacob Oram and Shane Bond. All three were named in the squad announced earlier this week, which also included uncapped Wellingtonian paceman Mark Gillespie.

New Zealand’s first match of the Champions Trophy, against South Africa, is played in Mumbai on October 16.

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