ENGLAND’S chairman of selectors David Graveney has apologised to Darren Gough for the dismissive way in which the seam-bowler’s one-day career was ended last week. He was told of his omission from the 30-man World Cup squad by phone text, and the public announcement merely mentioned that Gough, Tim Bresnan and spinner Ian Blackwell were not expected to reach satisfactory levels of fitness.
Gough and Blackwell were both upset to be perceived as unfit and overweight. Blackwell, working especially hard on fitness, did not fail to notice that Ashley Giles had been rushed into the Ashes squad untried after a lengthy injury lay-off, a gamble that failed. (see GILES BOMBSHELL discussion further down)
Graveney admitted: “What I said at the time was not the right way to deal with it. Both men were assessed in terms of their current fitness status. Things have been portrayed in a slightly insulting way to Darren, which I regret; he is very professional, he does a lot of work in order to keep himself fit. The bottom line is the selectors have chosen to stick with younger bowlers and therefore that is the most appropriate reason why Darren has not been included.”
He added: “Ian is coming back from a particularly serious shoulder injury. That process is going well but the fact he hasn’t played any cricket was the underlying reason for him not being selected.”
CHARLIE SAYS: I have a high regard for `Grav’ who works very hard for the England cause. Communication is his strongest point, but he lashed up here. Not so much to do with Gough’s feelings, more to do with the fitness issue. He might have mentioned an apparent change of policy while dismissing the claims of the three notable omissions. Bresnan has been regarded as fit enough to go on the England A tour to Bangladesh next month.