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England's World Cup warm-up woes Published: 15 February 2011

In the build-up to the ICC (International Cricket Council) World Cup tournament England's bowlers continue to struggle for fitness with Stuart Broad now struck down by illness and the start of the tournament less than a week away.

Broad who, as recently as yesterday, declared himself "100% fit" having recovered from an abdominal injury has now been set back by sickness.

Having not played since early December the Nottinghamshire all-rounder was hoping to use England's two warm-up matches in Dhaka (against Canada and Pakistan) to improve his match sharpness.

It was during the second Ashes Test that Broad suffered the injury which ruled him out of the Test and One Day International series in Australia.

Bresnan & Tremlett

England's bowling options are already limited by the unavailability of Tim Bresnan.

The Yorkshireman is recovering from a calf injury and, whilst he hopes to be fit for England's opening World Cup game (on 22 February against the Netherlands), he will not be risked in the warm-up matches.

England had already planned ahead with Chris Tremlett, not in the 15-man squad, flown out to the sub-continent to assist with training as well as providing on-the-spot cover should the likes of Bresnan or Broad not recover in time.

Now the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) have sought permission from the ICC for Tremlett to play in the warm-up matches.

Whether this will be allowed, given Tremlett is still not an official squad member, is unclear.

England Team Manager Andy Flower will be increasingly concerned at the lack of match practice his bowlers have under their belts, especially on the unique pitches of the sub-continent.

As well as Broad's prolonged absence; Ajmal Shahzad hasn't played since 30 January; Bresnan since 21 January; and Graeme Swann since the 16 January.

By the time the tournament starts the large part of England's bowling attack may not have bowled a ball in anger for over a month.

Morgan's miracle recovery?

Meanwhile, batsman Eoin Morgan who was removed from England's squad after breaking his finger, has hinted that he may recover more quickly than expected.

Every effort had been made to maximise the explosive Morgan's chances of making the squad even with the possibility of him only being available for the knock-out matches - assuming England make it that far.

However, when scans suggested the Middlesex batsman needed an operation Flower opted to replace him in the squad with Ravi Bopara.

Morgan has offered hope he may be fit sooner than expected though, announcing on his Twitter account:

"Some good news this morning... no need for an op on my finger... pretty much healed... will be back sooner than expected!!"

The ECB may well be making another enquiry to the ICC's regulations committee if they hope to parachute Morgan back into their squad. It would also need another player to drop out injured but England would surely jump at any chance to get their most destructive batsman back into the side.


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