Gough blasts England 'favouritism'

on November 24, 2008 by Administrator

Recent months have not been kind to English cricket fans. The national team has been humiliated and truly humbled on several occasions and, to make matters worse, many stars of the international cricket scene who usually prove to be dependable and hungry for victory have appeared jaded and mere shadows of their former selves.

Many factors have been blamed for this disappointing slump, including Kevin Pietersen’s belief that unnecessary distractions away from the field of play have ruined the focus of the team.

However, one legend in the world of cricket believes he has found the real reason lying behind England’s poor run of form. Darren Gough has spoken publicly about England’s fortunes and believes that selection favouritism is destroying the cricket team. If anyone is to be trusted on such matters, it is surely Gough. He is the top wicket-taker for the national team in one-day internationals and was a firm favourite with the England fans.

During 158 one-day internationals, he managed to take 234 wickets. Furthermore, the player was a true professional and he was also a legend at county level with Yorkshire. Fans of cricket across the country expressed their disappointment when the player decided to retire at the close of last season.

Darren Gough believes that players who are consistently proving themselves at county level are being overlooked by the officials picking the players for the England team. Gough named Graham Napier, Dimitri Mascarenhas and Tim Bresnan as examples of players who deserve a chance after impressing at county level.

These players were successful in the Hong Kong Sixes and, according to Gough, “deserve a chance” at success on an international stage. Although the national cricket team has “potential”, it is currently remaining unrealised since the selectors are ignoring players who should definitely be starting international matches.

The former England legend wants selectors to pick players based on their current form rather than the reputations they have managed to build over successive years in international cricket. For example, Gough believes that "if Paul Collingwood has to drop down then so be it”. Players should be picked on merit and not with the hope that they will be able to rediscover the form of previous years and previous tournaments.

However, worryingly for English cricket fans, selection favouritism does not seem to be the only problem blighting the team’s chances of success. Gough revealed that prior to the Stanford Super Series in Antigua, he “got the impression […] that England weren’t going to perform”. Gough was unable to give specific reasons as to why he was provided with such an impression but he believes that something is "not quite right in the England camp”.

The inability of Gough to name the reasons why England are faltering is extremely worrying. Although he has been able to name selection favouritism as one negative factor in the game at the moment, there seem to be other factors which are far less easy to define and, presumably, far less easy to solve in the near future.

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