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Cricket: England sweat on Swann injury

England were last night waiting anxiously on the results of a scan on Graeme Swann's tight quadriceps.

The world's leading off-spinner himself was bouncing round as ever like the Easter Bunny, if only metaphorically.

He seemed blissfully unconcerned about the extent of the injury which forced him to miss most of the last day of the first practice match on Monday.

The management will be desperate for Swann to play in the second and final warm-up, against a Pakistan Cricket Board XI, which starts today.

Swann is a bowler who needs plenty of overs to find his range and his rhythm. He looked decidedly lacking in fluency during England's narrow victory against the ICC Combined XI.

With figures of 2-99 and 1-33, the improvement in the second innings was obvious, but the opposition were mischievously eager to point out that he did not turn the ball.

Given his crucial role in the Test series against Pakistan starting next Tuesday, Swann needs all the bowling in the middle he can get. But England will not dare risk aggravating his injury.

Graeme Onions, who has replaced the injured Tim Bresnan in the squad, seems certain to be given a game, with Chris Tremlett still suffering from an eye infection.

It would be an overdue return for Onions, who showed himself to be of true international class in the eight Test matches he played before he was injured in Bangladesh two years ago. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent