x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Pietersen in Trophy squad

England have named the injured batsmen in a preliminary 30-man squad for the Champions Trophy in South Africa in September.

England have named injured batsmen Kevin Pietersen in a preliminary 30-man squad for the Champions Trophy in South Africa in September. The 29-year-old right-hander was ruled out of the remainder of the Ashes series against Australia following an operation on his troublesome Achilles tendon injury on Wednesday, which is expected to take six weeks to heal. But his inclusion in the squad is an act of faith that Pietersen will be fully fit and in form enough to compete.

Also named in the squad, led by captain Andrew Strauss, were all-rounder Andrew Flintoff, and Durham bowler Steve Harmison. Hampshire's 29-year-old left-handed batsman Michael Lumb was the only uncapped player named in the party for the eight-nation tournament which runs from Sept 22 to Oct 5 Meanwhile, Australian opening batsman Phillip Hughes's hopes of finding form for next week's third Ashes Test at Edgbaston were dented yesterday as he was dismissed cheaply on the opening day of the tour match at Northamptonshire.

Hughes struggled in the opening two Tests, scoring only 57 runs in three innings, and the game with the county side was seen as the ideal chance to find some form and score runs. But the left-hander had only scored 10 when he was caught by Alex Wakely off the bowling of David Wigley. It was a frustrating first day for Australia as they looked to bounce back from losing the second Test to England at Lord's on Monday. They had made it to 81 for two early in the afternoon session when heavy rain forced them from the field.

The Australian's were without fast bowler Brett Lee, who is still struggling with a side injury, leaving it unlikely he will feature at Edgbaston. gcaygill@thenational.ae