Anderson set to return home

England fast bowler James Anderson will return home early from the tour to Australia because of a back injury.

England fast bowler James Anderson will return home early from the tour to Australia because of a back injury.

Team management have ordered him to rest but remain confident he will be fit for the World Cup, which starts in the Caribbean in mid-March.

Anderson was out of action for several months last year after being diagnosed with a stress fracture in his back.

But a scan has revealed no such problem this time and a team spokesman said his return home was "precautionary". Anderson heads the England bowling averages for the current triangular one-day series in Australia with eight wickets at a cost of only 20,62 runs each.

But he missed the last two games because of soreness in his back and news of the decision to send him home is a major blow to the team's chances of pipping New Zealand for a place in the best-of-three final against Australia.

England have to win both their remaining round robin matches to have a chance of reaching the final.

Meanwhile, Pakistan face South Africa in an international Pro20 match at Wanderers today at 5.30pm. The match comes after the Proteas impressed in their recent Test matches. - BBC

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