Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Vaughan Begins His Ashes Quest

Michael Vaughan has begun his quest to return to the international cricketing fold today when it was announced that Vaughan would be joining England's performance programme that is due to tour India in ten days time.

Vaughan revealed playing in the 2009 Ashes Series is one of the main motivational reasons behind his inclusion in England's Performance programme squad.

Vaughan has had a three-month layoff from the game. The ECB confirmed today Vaughan will be joining the England Performance Programme, giving a clear indication that Vaughan is prepared to put in the time and effort to fight for his England recall.

The performance programme squad will play two four-day matches during a month-long tour.

Vaughan was surprisingly awarded a 12-month central contract by the ECB in September after being omitted from the final South African test in the summer following his resignation as England captain. Vaughan was also omitted from the full 15-man England squad that is currently in India preparing to play seven one-day internationals and two Tests.

The Yorkshire batsman captained the England side that regained the Ashes in 2005. Vaughan is indeed one of England's most successful captains. He hopes his performances will help him break back into the full side for Australia’s visit next summer.

"That would be the pinnacle, to get back in and try and play in the Ashes,” said Vaughan.

"I just want to try and do as well as I can and get that feeling of batting and scoring runs again. I'm sure it will be just around the corner.

“Ultimately, I'd love another go at Australia and beyond that.

"I've had a good break, it's a break that I would have had at this time of year anyway, so I feel ready to get back and hopefully try and push for a place in the England side."

One of England’s selectors, Geoff Miller, agreed that Michael Vaughan could win back his place in the England side, but warned the Yorkshireman it will not be easy.

Miller said: “He’s had his break, he required it and he has come back refreshed. He’s now in the position that he has to start putting in some performances to get himself back in the side.”

“He’s got to overtake the players who currently occupy those positions in the side and those that are in contention for a Test place, and that can only be done by performances.

“But he’ll work hard at it. I know he wants to get back in the side and he’s a quality player.

“We are a better side when he’s playing well because of his experience, but he’ll have to force his way back in via his performances.”

During their tour of India, the Performance squad will link up with the main England team which will be Vaughans first involvement since handing over the captaincy reigns to Kevin Pietersen. The current England captain was delighted to hear of Vaughan’s call-up.

“It's good because it gives us strength in depth to have a guy like that around with his experience,” he said.

“He's coming back into the fold now and has his head back on - and he's willing to do whatever it takes to get back into the England team, which is great.”

Monty Panesar, who is not part of the England ODI set-up, has also been added to the performance squad ahead of the Test series in India to act as preparation ahead of the Test series against India.