Monday 23 April 2007 

Lancashire Welcome Back England Players

The England Cricket team ended their difficult winter on Saturday evening, with an exciting last over victory against the West Indies at the ICC World Cup. All players have been given some time-off before preparations start for the home Test Series against the West Indies. Good news for Lancashire supporters is that all three England representatives will be available to play for the County during select fixtures in May.

Lancashire Cricket manager Mike Watkinson received an email from England operations manager Phil Neale outlining when he can play Andrew Flintoff, James Anderson and Sajid Mahmood.

All three will be available for the crucial LV County Championship Division One clash with Hampshire at the Rose Bowl starting on May 9, while they will split the Friends Provident Trophy double header over the Bank Holiday weekend before.

“It’s going to be a difficult team to pick if we have both of our overseas players back,” said Mike Watkinson.

“It’s nice to have those players back, and let’s hope that all our players are fit and we have some of those difficult selection problems that we always hoped that we were going to have.”

Although dates haven’t been confirmed, it is hoped that both Brad Hodge and Muttiah Muralitharan will also be available for selection to play Hampshire.

EXACT ENGLAND AVAILABILITY

Andrew Flintoff - Northants May 6 (Old Trafford), Hampshire May 9 (Rose Bowl)

Sajid Mahmood - Northants May 6, Hampshire May 9

James Anderson - Durham May 7 (Chester-le-Street), Hampshire May 9