England delay announcement of Ashes squad

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London, June 17 (ANI): England have opted to delay the announcement of their team for next month's Ashes series with the aim of giving the likes of Michael Vaughan and Ian Bell a chance to stake their claim to face Australia.

The selectors were due to announce the squad, which could include as many as 17 players, on Saturday to meet up next week and then move on to Birmingham for their three-day match against Warwickshire starting on July 1.

But England have delayed that announcement and will now release the list of names on Monday after this week's round of championship matches have been completed, the Herald Sun reports.

That will give former captain Vaughan and others one last opportunity to make a significant contribution ahead of the first Test against Ricky Ponting's team in Cardiff on July 8.

"We're picking a squad and we'll be getting together for a couple of team-building sessions prior to the Warwickshire game," England coach Andy Flower said.

"The squad we'll initially announce will be larger than the 12 or 13 for the first Test," he added.

That initial squad is expected to include both leg-spinner Adil Rashid, who has impressed during the Twenty20 tournament, and senior spinners Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann while Andrew Flintoff will join up with England again for the first time since having knee surgery at the start of the summer.

"It was very good news to see him back for Lancashire and bowling well," Flower added. (ANI)

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