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Thorpe to lead England in one-day series


COLOMBO, March 19 (AFP) - Graham Thorpe will take over from injured captain Nasser Hussain to lead England in the forthcoming three-match one-day international series against Sri Lanka.

The 31-year-old left-hander from Surrey was appointed captain on Monday to take over from Hussain, who is flying home along with four other members of England's Test squad early Tuesday.

Hussain strained his right thigh while fielding during the third and final Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo and is going home to prepare for the summer Tests against Pakistan and Australia.

Michael Atherton, Jason Brown, Paul Nixon and Matthew Hoggard are also flying back to Britain.

Under Hussain's leadership England beat Sri Lanka 2-1 in the three-Test series to round off a successful winter having earlier beaten Pakistan 1-0 (2 drawn) also in a three-Test series.

Thorpe, England's leading run scorer in both series, averaged 56.8 in Pakistan and 67.0 in Sri Lanka.

His unbeaten knocks of 113 and 32 won him the man-of-the-match award in the crucial third and final Test against Sri Lanka.

Wicketkeeper Alec Stewart had been tipped to take over as captain for the remaining matches of the Sri Lanka tour.

"The team took the decision to appoint Thorpe to avoid giving Stewart added responsibilities as wicket-keeper and batsman," said England media relations manager Andy Walpole.

"I don't have any long-term ambitions of being captain although I am happy to take over for this short series," said Thorpe addressing the press soon after his appointment.

"I was told of my appointment by chairman of selectors David Graveney on Saturday morning when I was on 74," he said.

A senior player in the England side, Thorpe has very limited experience as captain.

He was vice-captain of his county Surrey for some time and he led England in a four-day game at Peshawar during the winter tour of Pakistan.

England play Sri Lanka in the first of three one-day international matches at the newly built Dambulla International Stadium on Friday.







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