England awaits verdict on Vaughan's fitness ahead of Pakistan Test
by AFP

Player:MP Vaughan
Event:England in Pakistan 2005/06

DateLine: 8th November 2005


England coach Duncan Fletcher said a verdict on skipper Michael Vaughan's knee injury is expected late Tuesday after a final analysis of the scan report back home.


"We have received the reports (of scans) on Tuesday afternoon and the medical staff in England are analysing it. Hopefully, we will get their opinion later tonight," Fletcher told reporters.


Vaughan's chances of playing in the first Test against Pakistan, starting at Multan on Saturday, are rated only "remote" after he twisted his right knee in the tour match against Pakistan A on Monday.


Fletcher said team management did discuss replacements for Vaughan, who could miss the entire three Tests if he has torn a muscle, but no decision has been made.


Batsmen Owais Shah and Robert Key were two likely replacements but both have been ruled out due to injuries, said Fletcher.


Marcus Trescothick will take over the captaincy in case Vaughan is ruled out.


England's problems further compounded Tuesday when they suffered an embarrassing six wicket defeat against Pakistan 'A' in their second tour match. The tourists failed to defend a target of 245 as Pakistan 'A' led from the front by their captain Hasan Raza (71 not out) and Shahid Yousuf pulled off the win which badly hurt England's build up for the Test.


England won the opening tour match against Patron's XI at Rawalpindi last week.


Fletcher hoped team morale would not dip if Vaughan was ruled out.


"Such things have happened before and, hopefully, players would lift the intensity required for Test matches," said Fletcher, a former Zimbabwe captain who took over coaching England in 2000.


"It's difficult to answer whether he would play the first Test. Medical staff are careful to give predictions and they are waiting for a response from England. They would have a look and give us their decision Tuesday night."


Fletcher described the tour-match defeat as "not ideal."


"It (the defeat) was not ideal but we have quality players and I hope they would lift themselves to the level required for Test cricket."

(Article: Copyright © 2005 AFP)


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