Collingwood arrives with England

England have been given an unexpected boost to their World Cup preparations with Paul Collingwood able to travel with the squad to Bangladesh after his wife gave birth earlier than expected. He and Graeme Swann, who has remained at home for the birth of his child, were given paternity leave during the warm-up period but Collingwood arrived in Dhaka on Sunday.

He is also improving steadily from the back injury that forced him to fly home a few days early from Australia after suffering a back spasm in Sydney and could be available for the warm-up matches against Canada and Pakistan. The general health of England’s squad is improving although Tim Bresnan (calf) and Ajmal Shahzad (hamstring) are still nursing their injuries.

“Graeme Swann’s not here yet. His wife is just about to give birth and he’ll be attending that,” Andrew Strauss, the England captain, confirmed on his arrival in Bangladesh. “[Collingwood's] wife has given birth to a lovely little daughter. He’s here, and his back is getting a lot better. So he should be fully fit.”

Collingwood lost his one-day place at the start of the one-day series against Australia following the lean Ashes series which prompted his Test retirement. When he returned he continued to struggle for runs but his bowling proved increasingly valuable and could play a key role at the World Cup. England will also be desperate for his batting to recover after the loss of Eoin Morgan after he was forced out due to a broken finger.

England’s squad was ravaged by injury during the one-dayers in Australia with six players flying home before the end of the tour. Swann (knee) was among those as were Bresnan, Shahzad, Morgan and Chris Tremlett (side strain). Meanwhile, Stuart Broad has yet to return to action after his abdominal injury picked up during the Ashes but is confident of taking a full role during the warm-ups.

Tremlett has travelled with the team to Bangladesh in case any of the bowlers don’t recover in time, although he can’t take any part in the warm-up matches unless he becomes an official replacement. Ravi Bopara, the Essex allrounder, was named as Morgan’s replacement but after three days back at home following the Australia Strauss said his squad is in decent shape.

“One or two of them may still not be quite right for the warm-up games – certainly Bresnan and possibly Shahzad as well. We’re monitoring it on a day-by-day basis. But our injury situation is getting better every day. We haven’t got any real long-term concerns with the players we have here – and that is generally a relief for us as a group.”


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