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Sunday, July 26, 2009
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Kevin on shortlist

Kevin Pietersen was named Friday in England's 30-man provisional squad for September's ICC Champions Trophy in his native South Africa even though he is currently sidelined with an Achilles injury.

Star batsman Pietersen was ruled out Wednesday of the remainder of the Ashes series and, while there is no certainty about when he will return, England are hopeful of having him fit in time for the 50 overs per side event.

Also included in the provisional squad was Andrew Flintoff, the injury-prone all-rounder.

Flintoff, 31, led from the front with the ball by taking five wickets as England won the second Ashes Test by 115 runs at Lord's on Monday, where he overcame the effects of a recent knee problem.

The Lancashire star has said this will be his final Test series but has vowed to carry on playing one-day internationals for England.

However, even if he gets through the Ashes unscathed, doubts remain as to how much rest Flintoff will require ahead of the Champions Trophy.

England have never won a major one-day international tournament and selection chief Geoff Miller said: "The ICC Champions Trophy is an opportunity for the England one-day side to compete for a global trophy and we are confident we have the talent to make a strong claim," selection chief Geoff Miller said.

"We have an exciting blend of youth and experience in this preliminary squad and we'll continue to watch the limited-overs form of all players involved over the coming month."

The squad will be reduced to 15 players by August 23, by when England may have a more precise idea of Pietersen's fitness.

Hampshire batsman Michael Lumb, a county colleague of Pietersen, is the only uncapped player in the squad.

England begin their Champions Trophy campaign against Sri Lanka in Johannesburg on September 25.

PROVISIONAL SQUAD
Andrew Strauss (captain), James Anderson, Gareth Batty, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad, Paul Collingwood, Alastair Cook, Steve Davies, Joe Denly, Andrew Flintoff, James Foster, Stephen Harmison, Ed Joyce, Robert Key, Michael Lumb, Sajid Mahmood, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Eoin Morgan, Graham Napier, Graham Onions, Kevin Pietersen, Matthew Prior, Adil Rashid, Owais Shah, Ryan Sidebottom, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott, Luke Wright

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