England release batsmen to play for counties

The ECB have released struggling batsmen Alastair Cook, Ravi Bopara and Ian Bell to play for their respective counties in an attempt to get some runs under their belts and much needed confidence to take into the 5th test at The Oval – for those of whom get selected.

As was the case last year when he was struggling for form and drinking in last chance saloon for his England place in the series against South Africa, Paul Collingwood apparently doesn’t need the practise and has been given the week off.

This is staggering that no-one in the England set up believes time in the middle is what Collingwood needs! If he is carrying an injury that needs resting and the ECB don’t want to reveal these details to the Aussies then fair enough.

At Headingley he didn’t look injured to me and he certainly dosen’t need a rest from batting. In a similar situation during last years South Africa series Collingwood was given the option to play for Durham when hopelessly out of form and he declined the offer, instead opting to go into the nets and practise.

The descision last year did pay off in fairness as he came back and scored a century at Edgbaston when his international career appeared to be all but over. At the time the decision not to play county cricket looked arrogant and ill-judged, the results proved the opposite though.

Who took the decision this year? Surely the England management would have liased with Collingwood and his own views must have gone some way to making up Andy Flower’s mind not to release him for much needed practise.

If Collingwood did have the final say I hope he can back up what looks another staggeringly lousy complacent decision with a hundred like the one last year, after all he is certainly due one in this series – he shouldn’t have too many last chance cards left to play by now.