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Sunday, December 7, 2008

England call up Khan and Rashid

Kent fast bowler Amjad Khan, 28 has been added to England's squad for the two-Test series in India.

And Yorkshire leg-spinner Adil Rashid, 20, will also travel to Chennai if the tour goes ahead but has not been officially added to the squad.

The two newcomers have been promoted from the Performance group currently with the senior squad in Abu Dhabi.

But the players are still awaiting a security report on India before making a final decision on whether to tour.

Khan has been named as the official replacement for Ryan Sidebottom, who has endured an injury-plagued year and will play no part in India.

"I must have done something right in the last couple of days," said Khan, who was given the nod ahead of Lancashire's Sajid Mahmood.

"Saj and I got picked for the one-dayers and I thought if they were going to then, there was no reason they should not pick me for the Tests.

"I thought I had a chance but I knew it would come down to form on the day - that sort of stuff."

Sidebottom's Nottinghamshire team-mate Stuart Broad is not in the running for the first Test with a hamstring injury

But if the tour is confirmed, he will fly directly from the UK to Chennai in an attempt to force his way into the side for the second match in Mohali.

The other players are spending Sunday in Abu Dhabi, waiting for ECB managing director High Morris to report back to them on the security situation in Chennai.

They are then due to fly onto the southern Indian city on Monday should there be a collective agreement to tour.

However, individual players may still pull out, which would improve Khan's chances of a first Test cap.

Born in Copenhagen and a former member of the Danish national team, Khan's first full season for Kent was in 2002, when he claimed an impressive 63 wickets.

He was awarded British citizenship in December 2006 and earned a place at the Academy. However, a serious knee injury forced him home and reconstructive surgery kept him out of the entire 2007 season.

Rashid's best season in the Championship came last summer, when he took 62 wickets, and he is also a proficient batsman.

He has impressed for England at youth level, with a century and an eight-wicket haul in an under-19 Test against India.

In 2007, he struck his maiden Championship century.
Revised England squad for the two-Test tour of India:

KP Pietersen (capt, Hampshire), TR Ambrose (wkt, Warwickshire), JM Anderson (Lancashire), IR Bell (Warwickshire), SCJ Broad (Nottinghamshire), PD Collingwood (Durham), AN Cook (Essex), A Flintoff (Lancashire), SJ Harmison (Durham), MS Panesar (Northants), MJ Prior (wkt, Sussex), OA Shah (Middlesex), AJ Strauss (Middlesex), GP Swann (Nottinghamshire), A Khan (Kent).

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