16 February 2007

AABR policy no surprise to Newell

I was wondering when Nottinghamshire's Director of Cricket Mick Newell would comment on England's treatment of his wicket-keeper. Here are his comments ... I actually think he has been quite restrained!

Newell slams England selectors
(from the Notts CCC website), my emphases added.

Mick Newell has strongly criticised the England hierarchy after Chris Read was left out of the England squad for next month’s World Cup.

The 28-year-old wicketkeeper ended last season as England’s number one behind the stumps, but coach Duncan Fletcher axed him for the start of the Ashes in favour of Geraint Jones.

Jones’ lack of form eventually led to a recall for Read, only for the selectors to then call up 36-year-old Leicestershire stumper Paul Nixon for the CB Series.

Nixon has now been named as first choice for the World Cup, with Read returning home without being given a chance to prove his case for selection.

Newell said: “It is no surprise at all that Chris has not been picked when you consider the way the winter has gone for him.

His treatment has been appalling from the moment he was dropped at the start of the Ashes tour without even getting the chance to play in a warm-up game. If they didn’t want him there, then why take him?

I don’t think he will ever get back into the side under Duncan Fletcher, but if a different coach comes in, then you never know.”

The BBC has this interview with Newell, which adds a little more to the saga. Most revealing is this (my emphases):

"Chris wasn't given any chance to compete this winter. The man-management of him has been poor. ... He was told two weeks before the first Test in Australia that he wasn't going to be in the side. But if that's the case, how has he got any opportunity to compete for a place?

"Everyone would agree he's not only the best wicket-keeper in England but right up there in the top two or three in the world. But I just don't think Fletcher rates him as a cricketer and doesn't want him in the team. "

Newell's summary:

"The whole thing has been made very difficult by the way it has been handled and that has been down to Duncan Fletcher."

Maybe Fletcher is finally going to find the guts to actually exclude Chris Read from selection - or maybe the England Selectors are going to find the guts to take back responsibility for the selection of the team.

But no ... that ship sailed with the departure of Read's staunch supporter Rodney Marsh - who, after all, knows a bit about wicket-keeping! And as an Aussie, he knows a bit about winning too!

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