|Event:||ICC World Cup 2006/07|
DateLine: 14th March 2007
England captain Michael Vaughan insisted here Wednesday he would play a "full part" in his side's World Cup campaign despite his ongoing hamstring problem.
Vaughan has yet to complete a full match since returning midway through England's ultimately victorious one-day series success in Australia.
He only fielded for 10 overs in England's first warm-up match against Bermuda and was on the field for just 17 overs during the defeat by world champions Australia in his side's other practice fixture in St Vincent.
That led to renewed speculation about his ability to field for the full 50 overs in England's World Cup opener against fellow Group C giants New Zealand here on Friday.
But Vaughan - who prior to his brief participation in the Australia one-dayers had been sidelined for a year with a knee injury - insisted all was well with his fitness.
"Hopefully I'll prove on Friday that I can get through a game," opening batsman Vaughan told reporters at England's hotel here Wednesday.
"I've trained every single day and I've had nothing go wrong with the hamstring and nothing go wrong with the knee and I'm just looking forward to playing cricket now.
"I guess the New Zealand game will be a test for me because I haven't fielded for 50 overs yet, but everything I've done in practice and the two games I played in St Vincent has given me a lot of confidence knowing I can get through the game on Friday and the game on Sunday (against Canada) as well.
"I'm looking forward to both games and going on to play the whole tournament. There is absolutely nothing to suggest I won't play a full part in this World Cup."
England and New Zealand are the overwhelming favourites to qualify from a group also featuring Kenya, surprise semi-finalists four years ago.
Assuming both do go through, the winners of Friday's match will carry two points into the second phase, Super Eight stage.
"We're going to try and put New Zealand under pressure on Friday, get that first game out of the way and hopefully get a victory," Vaughan explained.
The Yorkshire star admitted thar leading England in a World Cup was a particular honour.
"It's always a great privilege to be captain of England but in my first World Cup as captain it's obviously a bit more special," he said.
"We know it's a big tournament but we're just going to try and play the cricket we played towards the end in Australia."
England are set to stick with the same batting line-up that featured in both warm-up matches, with Ed Joyce again partnering Vaughan at the top of the innings in place of Middlesex team-mate Andrew Strauss.
But the make-up of the bowling attack remains uncertain.
Pace bowling all-rounder Andrew Flintoff and left-arm spinner Monty Panesar appear assured of places, leaving James Anderson, Liam Plunkett, Sajid Mahmood and Jon Lewis to contest the remaining seam-bowling positions.
(Article: Copyright © 2007 AFP)
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