16 May 2007

A new era for England cricket?

You won’t be at all surprised to hear that I have a few thoughts on the current position regarding the England Cricket Team!

Naturally I am more than pleased to see the back of the execrable Duncan Fletcher and his bizarre selection policies. But I fear that with the arrival of Peter Moores as coach, in fact, very little has changed. Witness the sudden inclusion of Sussex players in the squad – amongst whom, of course, the latest wicket-keeper to be preferred to Chris Read. (Moores used to be the Sussex coach).

Incidentally – what’s going on there? Anyone But Read is, we know, the established policy, which Moores is only continuing. But even I have to admit that Paul Nixon (given the sort of extended run in the team always denied to Chris Read) actually did very well for England in the World Cup. He was one of the very few in the squad to emerge with any credit. So, of course, he is dropped!!

The reason I say that little has changed is simple – David Graveney is still Chair of Selectors. It was Graveney who cravenly allowed Fletcher to subvert selection procedures to install his favourites; Graveney who presided over the fiasco of the winter Ashes tour and World Cup – and Graveney who continues in post. How can selection improve?

Equally worrying is the precipitate manner in which Moores was drafted in to replace Fletcher. No less an authority than former England captain Mike Brearley has expressed serious doubts about this. He questions both the speed and wisdom of the appointment, saying “there can have been no proper search.”

Brearley continues,

"However good Moores is, there was no time to advertise the job, and it is not right for such an important job to be handed out without proper competition. We should have had more rigorous discussion and careful thought about what this new coach's role will be, and in what sort of a set-up."

What sort of set-up? Why, the traditional one long suspected in England cricket! Brearley confirms what we have always really known:

"I question the manner and timing of [Moores'] selection as England head coach. His selection smacks of favouritism."

Not so very different from Duncan Fletcher and the "old" regime then!

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home