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Strauss named as England caretaker captain

Written by: Staff

LONDON, July 4 (Reuters) Opener Andrew Strauss was named as England's caretaker captain today for the first test against Pakistan while Andrew Flintoff recovers from a heel injury.

Strauss led England in their 5-0 humiliation by Sri Lanka in the one-day series which concluded on Saturday and was the obvious choice to take charge of the test side in the absence of Flintoff and first choice skipper Michael Vaughan.

The first test starts at Lord's on July 13.

Chairman of selectors David Graveney said Flintoff would take over once he was fit again and the Lancashire all-rounder now looks set to lead his country in Australia this year.

''Andrew Flintoff will have his ankle reassessed in the next few days and we will have a clearer idea then of when he will be able to return to the team and take over the captaincy,'' Graveney said in a statement.

Vaughan, who led England to their 2-1 win over Australia in last year's Ashes series, underwent a fourth operation on his right knee yesterday.

He will be out of the game for at least four months and appears to have little chance of taking the field against the Australians.

Vaughan was replaced by Flintoff for the drawn test series against India and Sri Lanka this year.

Middlesex left-hander Strauss, who made his test debut against New Zealand two years ago on his home ground, said it would be a special moment to lead England at Lord's.

''At this stage, I have been asked to take on the captaincy on a temporary basis until Andrew Flintoff is available for selection again,'' he said in a statement.

''I fully respect the decision the selectors have taken and will be happy to play under Andrew's captaincy.

''He proved to be an inspirational captain in the test series in India and everyone in the dressing room is hoping that he can make a speedy return to the side.'' REUTERS PDS2010

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