x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Strauss and Swann miss practice with stomach bug

World Cup news The England captain and off-spinner should be fit for Thursday's match against the West Indies, while Canada's John Davison will retire after playing against Australia.

CHENNAI // Andrew Strauss, the Englandcaptain, and Graeme Swann, the off-spinner, missed today's practice with a stomach bug but both are likely to feature in Thursday's must-win World Cup Group B match against the West Indies.

"They both missed practice today with a stomach virus. [We] will assess them tomorrow but certainly (it is) nothing serious," the team spokesman said in a text message.

With five points from as many matches, England need to beat West Indies in their last group assignment and then hope South Africa defeat Bangladesh on Saturday to clear their quarter-final passage.

Strauss and Swann are two of their front line personnel, and England have already lost makeshift opener Kevin Pietersen (hernia) and pace bowler Stuart Broad (side strain) to injuries. but teammate Jonathan Trott today indicated they are expected to be healthy again in time.

Trott himself and Paul Collingwood have since succumbed to similar discomfort. But both are on the mend, and it is hoped the same will also soon be true of Strauss and Swann.

"They're two key players and would be in anybody's team," said Trott, who has been a model of consistency for an otherwise unpredictable England with four half-centuries in five innings.

"I'm pretty confident they will be all right. These things are normally 24 or 48 hours. I could give you a better idea tomorrow if they train."

As for his own illness, more cold than stomach upset, he said: "It's one of those things. You go from sweating on the field into cold air con and stuff like that.

"I'm not 100 per cent today but I should be tomorrow."

Canadian veteran John Davison to retire after Australia match

Canada's John Davison will bow out of international cricket tomorrow against the country he dearly wanted to represent.

Davison, who lit up the 2003 World Cup with a 67-ball century, was born in Canada but has spent most of his life in Australia. He gets his first chance to play his home country in his final international match.

The 40-year-old all-rounder said it was "pretty fitting" that his last game should be against the country he was "never quite good enough to get a game for."

As a coach at the Australian academy, Davison has spent time working with spinners Jason Krejza and Steve Smith and so will get a unique chance to see if his words have had any effect when he faces them.

"If I can manage to stay out in the middle for a while and face some balls from them, I can't imagine a better place for a coach to give feedback from," Davison said.