England opt for specialists
Collingwood leads team at inaugural World Championship
By Graeme Mair. Last Updated: August 6, 2007 5:55pm
Schofield: returns from the wilderness
England have adopted an adventurous selection policy for the inaugural Twenty20 World Championship with James Kirtley, Darren Maddy, Chris Schofield, Jeremy Snape and Luke Wright all named in a 15-man squad
Sep 12: Australia v Zimbabwe
Sep 13: England v Zimbabwe
Sep 14: England v Australia
"Having reviewed the team's performances in the NatWest international Twenty20 matches against West Indies, the selectors felt it was necessary to include a number of players with greater experience of this format of the game in the squad to go to South Africa."
David Graveney. Quotes of the week
The squad is captained by Paul Collingwood and includes the bulk of England's regular ODI side alongside the five specialist selections.
Andrew Flintoff is named after making good progress in his recovery from ankle surgery. The Lancashire all-rounder will warm-up for the event by making his return to international action during the seven-match ODI series against India that starts on August 21.
Bell, Panesar and Strauss axed
Test captain Michael Vaughan and batsmen Ian Bell and Andrew Strauss do not make the squad as they are not regarded as being well suited to the shortest format.
Instead, the selectors have picked Owais Shah and Vikram Solanki - batsmen with the ability to score in unorthodox areas.
The most notable omission is left-arm spinner Monty Panesar, with Snape and Schofield preferred as the slow bowling options.
Less surprising is the inclusion of Warwickshire captain Maddy, who has developed a reputation as the most innovative opening batsman in domestic Twenty20 cricket.
Sussex all-rounder Wright gains reward for being the leading run-scorer in this season's domestic Twenty20 Cup, while Surrey leg-spinner Schofield completes a remarkable return to the England fold.
Schofield was the leading wicket-taker in the group phase of this year's Twenty20 Cup, but last played for England in 2000 when he was discarded after two unsuccessful Test appearances.
The 28-year-old subsequently drifted out out of the professional game after being released by Lancashire at the end of the 2004 season, but relaunched his career by joining Surrey during the second-half of last season and has now gained reward for some impressive Twenty20 Cup displays.
"Having reviewed the team's performances in the NatWest international Twenty20 matches against West Indies, the selectors felt it was necessary to include a number of players with greater experience of this format of the game in the squad to go to South Africa," said chairman of selectors David Graveney.
"The World Twenty20 tournament will be new ground for everyone and we feel that combining players with experience of one-day international cricket together with Twenty20 'specialists' will give us the best possible chance of success."
The Twenty20 World Championship takes place in South Africa from September 11-24.
England are drawn in Group B, which is based at Newlands, and face fixtures against Zimbabwe (Sep 13) and Australia (Sep 14), with the top two progressing to the second group stage.
Twenty20 World Championship squad: Paul Collingwood (captain) (Durham), Ravi Bopara (Essex), Stuart Broad (Leicestershire), Andrew Flintoff (Lancashire), James Kirtley (Sussex), Darren Maddy (Warwickshire), Kevin Pietersen (Hampshire), Matthew Prior (Sussex), Chris Schofield (Surrey), Owais Shah (Middlesex), Ryan Sidebottom (Nottinghamshire), Jeremy Snape (Leicestershire), Vikram Solanki (Worcestershire), Chris Tremlett (Hampshire), Luke Wright (Sussex)