DOMINIC CORK, who missed the first half of England's winter tour and struggled for form in the second, has been ruled out of next week's Texaco Trophy one-day internationals against Australia.
The Derbyshire all-rounder injured his groin in the first championship match of the season and has not played since.
Rather than wait on medical reports in the build-up to next Thursday's first meeting with Australia, at Headingley, the England selectors confirmed yesterday that Cork will not be considered for the three one-day games. They want to give him time to recover fully from the injury.
Mike Gatting, one of England's three-man selection panel, said: ``The first thing he has to do is get back his fitness. That is the first step and once he is playing we can re-assess it further from there.'' England name their one-day squad this weekend.
Personal problems kept Cork from the first part of England's winter tour, to Zimbabwe, and then he took only seven wickets in the three Tests against New Zealand.
He is not expected to be able to have a net until next week at the earliest, leaving him less than three weeks to prove his fitness for the first Test at Edgbaston, which starts on June 5.
England's schedule for next summer was finalised yesterday, with the announcement of the first triangular one-day series to be held in this country.
In addition to a three-match Texaco Trophy series and five Tests against South Africa, England will also face World Cup holders Sri Lanka in a one-day series designed as preparation for the 1999 World Cup.
It could mean England playing six one-day internationals next summer, if they reach the final of the triangular competition.
The itinerary is in stark contrast to the build-up for last year's World Cup when England's disappointing showing was blamed on outdated tactics and poor preparation.
The Oval has not been granted a Test against the South Africans, the Surrey ground instead being the venue for a one-off Test against Sri Lanka at the end of August.
Nottinghamshire are to embark on a major refurbishment of their Trent Bridge ground after they were awarded £4.2 million of National Lottery money yesterday.
The money will help to finance the £6.5 million redevelopment of the Radcliffe Road End of the ground, with a new 4,500-seat grandstand raising the Test venue's capacity to 14,500.
The development, which will be completed in time for the fourth Test between England and South Africa next summer, will also include an indoor cricket school containing accommodation for 48 people.
Trent Bridge, which will offer residential coaching courses to schools and youth teams, is the first national spectator facility to be honoured by the English Sports Council.