Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Finger of Fate Strikes Unlucky Skipper Again

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Finger of Fate Strikes Unlucky Skipper Again

Article excerpt

MICHAEL VAUGHAN'S l a t e s t i n j u r y h a s plunged England into a new captaincy crisis. A broken finger, sustained while batting for Yorkshire at Southampton yesterday, has almost certainly ruled him out of the First Test against the West Indies and probably the Second Test as well.

Vaughan was all set to lead England out at Lord's on Thursday week, 17 months after winning his last Test cap and seeing his career putin jeopardy by a serious knee problem.

But this latest setback will prolong his agony and present new coach Peter Moores with a big problem only days after taking over from Duncan Fletcher.

Scans have revealed Vaughan has an "undisplaced fracture" near the base of his right middle finger. The recovery time is put at three to four weeks.

England have not yet ruled him out of the Lord's game but Vaughan today refused to comment on his chances of making a quick recovery. He may even struggle to make it back for the Third Test at Old Trafford, starting on 7 June, leaving the selectors to once more identify a replacement.

Andrew Flintoff, who skippered the side throughout last winter's Ashes whitewash, appears a non-starter after he was stripped of the World Cup vicecaptaincy following his infamous pedalo performance in the Caribbean.

Andrew Strauss, the other leading contender before England went to Australia last November, could do without the added pressures of leadership as he tries to bounce back from scoring only one halfcentury in 10 Test innings Down Under.

Strauss must be favourite, however, ahead of Paul Collingwood, who has been tipped as a future one-day captain.

For the moment, though, most thoughts will be with Vaughan. Only two days ago, after making 72 against Hampshire, he said he was happy finally being able to talk about form rather than fitness. …

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