Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Swann's New Injury Blow Casts a Shadow over England's Summer

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Swann's New Injury Blow Casts a Shadow over England's Summer

Article excerpt

Byline: Tom Collomosse

ENGLAND were today waiting to learn the cost of the victory over New Zealand that booked their place in the Champions Trophy semi-finals.

The 10-run win in Cardiff left Alastair Cook's team awaiting a semi-final against either India or South Africa. The outcome of the match between Australia and Sri Lanka at The Kia Oval later today will determine England's next opponents.

Yet Cook and coach Ashley Giles have injury headaches as they attempt to guide England to their first global ICC trophy at 50-over level. Graeme Swann missed his second game in the tournament so far, this time with a calf problem.

The off-spinner was left out of the opening win over Australia at Edgbaston on June 8 with a back spasm and this latest injury is a concern for England, not just for the rest of this tournament but for the Ashes series, which starts at Trent Bridge on July 10.

Swann is one of England's key men in all forms of the game but especially at Test level, where he has shown outstanding form in the opening two matches of the summer against West Indies after recovering from elbow surgery.

Swann was due to be assessed today but this is clearly a problem for England, as Cook's cautious words indicated. It seems very likely that Swann's deputy James Tredwell, who produced another solid performance against New Zealand, will be included in the XI again for the semi-final.

Cook said: "We will play it safe with Graeme Swann. It depends how he pulls up but he will not be risked, because we're in the fortunate position of having James Tredwell, who is doing a great job for us.

"We've played pretty well in all three of our first-round games. Any team will be dangerous and we will have to be on top of our game in the semis."

England are also hoping they will avoid punishment from the International Cricket Council for two incidents in the meeting with New Zealand, which was reduced to 24 overs per side because of the rain in south Wales. …

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