The Kevin Pietersen furore is still dominating the cricket headlines, and not surprisingly it over shadowed the naming of England’s World T20 squad (and West Indies touring party announcement) yesterday, getting James Whitaker’s reign as National Selector off to a fairly bungling inauspicious start.
It was no major surprise to see the ECB make no attempt to clear up the controversy surrounding the decision, as much as I think it was the wrong call and very badly handled (to sack Pietersen), I do understand that with the amount of lawyers involved in these things these days, the ECB’s hands are well and truly tied when it comes to speaking in public about this issue.
Having said that, I’m not convinced the ECB would have said anything about it, even if they could… but that’s another issue.
The squad announcement seems to have carried on the theme of strange, inconsistent, calls from the selectors, that we seen with the announcement of the Australian touring party.
Nothing against Moeen Ali and Stephen Parry, who are good decent players who deserve a chance to play for England, but is picking them for the tour of West Indies and the World T20 really the time to be blooding them? I don’t think so.
The World T20 hasn’t just come out of nowhere, it has been on the calender for some time, so to not have these players already familiar with playing for England, and with a bit of experience isn’t too much to ask of the England selectors?
I do understand that a player can come from nowhere with a late run and force his way into a squad, say for arguments sake they had just taken the Big Bash by storm by made a name for themselves, but they haven’t.
They are a serious gamble, and just further proof that this current selection panel isn’t doing it’s job properly. I would have no problem with having a look at either man after the World T20, but throwing them in a few weeks before the tournament is just utterly ridiculous.
In Jade Dernbach, Ravi Bopara and Luke Wright, England already have enough borderline players, why add two more to the squad? Outside of Pietersen there are plenty of big hitting batsmen who currently have international experience, and what about Samit Patel for second spinner? Or first spinner judging by the way James Tredwell was treated in Australia.
And as for all this rubbish about starting a new era, yes that’s fine, but start it after the World T20, not before.
I really feel as an England cricket fan, that a few baron years could be on the horizon, I currently have little faith in the current incumbents (selectors and suits in the ECB) to take the right decisions for English cricket. I hope and will be happy to be wrong.
The omission of Kevin Pietersen, along with the dodgy looking squad has seen England’s odds to win the World T20 drift out to 12/1 with Paddy Power (who offer a £50.00 Free Bet for new customers).
The tournament favourites are Duncan Fletcher’s India, who are 4/1 with Bet365 and a host of online bookmakers.
England are currently joint 7th favourites for the tournament with New Zealand, basically at the bottom of the pile within the established Test playing nations (obviously I’m not including Bangladesh and Zimbabwe in that), which is pretty much where we are in limited overs cricket.
What do England expect when we make it hard – or near on impossible at times – for our best players to play in the top T20 tournaments, or continually neglect international limited overs matches by resting our (so called) best players for Test cricket?
No wonder when it comes to naming a squad, we haven’t got a bloody clue.
England World T20 Squad
Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire, captain), Eoin Morgan (Middlesex, vice-captain), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Ravi Bopara (Essex), Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Jade Dernbach (Surrey), Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire), Chris Jordan (Sussex), Michael Lumb (Nottinghamshire), Stephen Parry (Lancashire), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), James Tredwell (Kent), Luke Wright (Sussex).