'Grant is impressive'

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori has praised rookie all-rounder Grant Elliot. (GETTY IMAGES)

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori believes replacement all-rounder Grant Elliott impressed sufficiently in the NatWest Series clash with England at Edgbaston to keep his place for today's meeting at Bristol.

Elliott had been playing in the Surrey League but was called up for the one-day series as cover for hamstring victim Jacob Oram.

But he played a leading role on his one-day international debut in the rain-affected match in Birmingham with figures of three for 23 with the ball, including the prized wicket of England's top scorer Luke Wright.

Kiwi skipper Vettori said: "Grant Elliott on his one-day debut was fantastic for us and he probably showed a lot of us up with his ability to bowl yorkers at the end of the England innings.

"Has he done enough to stay involved? Definitely for the next game in Bristol. If you put up performances like that, then you are going to remain with the side.

"My recommendation would be for him to stay as long as possible."

For England, Andrew Strauss has been added to the squad as cover for Alastair Cook, who is yet to recover from a shoulder injury.

After tomorrow's match, the fourth game is at The Oval on June 25 followed by Lord's on June 28.

Meanwhile, Pakistan fast bowler Mohammed Asif returned home yesterday and apologised "to the whole nation" after Dubai authorities dropped a drug smuggling investigation against him, ending almost three weeks of detention.

Asif was detained on June 1 after authorities allegedly found opium in his wallet as he travelled through Dubai's international airport on his way home from playing in the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament.

Asif arrived in Pakistan on a flight from Dubai early yesterday and said: "I feel shame and apologise to the whole nation over what happened.

"Prior to this incident in Dubai they took two dope tests of mine in the Indian Premier League. Both were clear.

"Even the tests taken by Dubai authorities came negative and there was no trace of any drug or substance in my body. I don't use these things."

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Nasim Ashraf announced that a three-member committee, chaired by the PCB's chief operating officer Shafqat Naghmi, would probe Asif's case from Monday.

 

Comments

Comments