Prior in for Davies in England''s World Cup squad

Written by: Pti
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Hobart, Jan 19 (AP) England selectors opted for MattPrior as wicketkeeper ahead of Steve Davies in the 15-mansquad announced hours before the deadline today for the WorldCup starting next month in the Indian subcontinent.

Prior has been playing domestic cricket in Australiasince playing a key role in England''s Ashes test seriesvictory in Australia, while Davies has been the gloveman forEngland in its last six limited-overs internationals.

The 28-year-old Prior, who hasn''t been part of England''sODI setup for most of the last year, is now expected to jointhe England squad ahead of the second ODI against Australia inHobart on Friday.

"It was a tough decision," England coach Andy Flowersaid. "Steve Davies was picked in our last one-day series, hedid okay against Pakistan.

"We picked him for this series in Australia because ofthe conditions out here, but as we get closer to the World Cupwe''ve made that adjustment and we want Prior to get a fewgames under his belt before we get out there."

Prior, who scored a century at a fast run-rate in thelast Ashes test against Australia, is expected to partnerskipper Andrew Strauss at the top of the order.

"We believe that Matt Prior is best suited to thesubcontinent conditions and that''s why we''ve picked him,"Flower said. "The circumstances have changed. Matt Prior didvery well out here in the test matches. He is a combative,aggressive cricketer. He fits our aggressive fielding unit sothose are the reasons why he has been picked for the WorldCup."

"Of course he is disappointed." Flower said. "But thoseare the harsh realities of playing professional sport. Steveand the others who have been left out will have to accept it."

Chris Tremlett is the only member of the current EnglandODI squad who missed selection for the World Cup.

James Anderson and Stuart Broad, who is recovering frominjury, will join the England squad in Australia on Friday tobolster the pace bowling stocks along with Tim Bresnan andAjmal Shahzad. (MORE) AP SNK

The squad will contain three specialist spinners, including Graeme Swann, Michael Yardy and James Tredwell.

There''s some concern over Swann, who will miss the nexttwo weeks due to an injured left knee.

Selectors are expecting Paul Collingwood to return toform and have named the Durham veteran in the squad.

"Paul Collingwood may not have scored as many runs as hewould have liked so far on the tour of Australia but he hasbeen a consistently strong performer for England inlimited-overs cricket for a long period of time," Flower said.

"He''ll be looking to make a big impact at another globalevent."

England opens its World Cup Group B campaign againstNetherlands at Nagpur on February 22, then plays India atCalcutta.

England squad: Andrew Strauss (Captain), Jimmy Anderson,Ian Bell, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood, EoinMorgan, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior, Ajmal Shahzad, GraemeSwann, James Tredwell, Jonathan Trott, Luke Wright, MichaelYardy. (AP) SNK

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