PACE bowler Ajmal Shahzad has been handed an England lifeline after being drafted into the one-day squad for the forthcoming series with Australia.
The Yorkshire seamer was a surprise omission from the original 13-man squad selected last week, but gets his chance after Ryan Sidebottom suffered a minor hamstring strain.
Shahzad, 24, was hoping to get the nod after taking a wicket with only his third ball in his only ODI, against Bangladesh in Chittagong in March.
National selector Geoff Miller said: “It’s a shame Ryan has picked up this injury because he’s been injury-free for some time now and bowling well.
“Ajmal Shahzad is a strong addition to the squad.”
Sidebottom’s injury is also a boost to fellow seamer James Anderson, who admits he is unsure of his place in the side after being rested for the Bangladesh tour and left out of the triumphant World Twenty20 side.
“I’m worried I won’t start this series,” said the Lancastrian. “Looking at it now I can’t see me starting unless they play one spinner. Not playing in the [World Twenty20] in the West Indies took the wind out of my sails a little and it came as a bit of a shock.
“I thought if I’d gone to Bangladesh and gone to Dubai it might have been different but they picked the side they did and you’ve got to take your hats off to the selectors – they did well.”
ENGLAND | ONE-DAY SERIES
19 June: v Scotland, Edinburgh
22 June: 1st ODI, Rose Bowl (d/n)
24 June: 2nd ODI, Cardiff (d/n)
27 June: 3rd ODI, Old Trafford
30 June: 4th ODI, The Oval (d/n)
3 July: 5th ODI, Lord’s