IAN Austin, Mike Atherton and Neil Fairbrother have been given the World Cup all clear by England's fitness gurus.

The Old Trafford trio had been ordered to prove their fitness - and all three came through with flying colours.

Austin has emerged with no ill effects from a knee op, Atherton's back complaint has eased, and Fairbrother has shaken off hamstring injuries.

It means all three will link up with the England squad in Lahore at the end of this month as they warm up for the Sharjah Trophy and then the World Cup.

Surrey's Graham Thorpe, who made a premature exit from the Ashes series with a back injury, also got the green light.

"We are extremely pleased about the fitness reports," said selectors' chairman David Graveney. "But all of them are aware of the need to continue to work 0on their overall fitness."

Austin and Atherton are currently in South Africa with Lancashire after an extensive series of tests at Lilleshall but Fairbrother has been allowed to rest after his hectic one day programme in Australia.

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