Saturday, 19 July 2008

Over and out

IT’S hard to fathom the thinking behind Darren Pattinson’s call up for the second Test with South Africa.
This is a man who has not even served his apprenticeship with Notts yet. He’s almost 30 (the selectors are obviously planning for the future!) and only has 11 first-class appearances to his name.
If it's part of some great master-plan, I can't see it. And it’s hardly a case of horses-for-courses, is it? If the selectors wanted a man for that job, Matthew Hoggard was the obvious choice for Headingley.
It was a big ask for Pattinson - who will be replaced by county team-mate Ryan Sidebottom - and it was no surprise that he was taken off after bowling only three overs on the first day. Perhaps the occasion got to him. But he showed his worth by making the breakthrough on Saturday, trapping Amla lbw for 38.
And you can forget all the talk of Pattinson being an Aussie. He was born in Grimsby and that’s good enough for me.
Anyway, I didn’t see many complaining when Nasser Hussain (born in India) and Tony Greig (born in South Africa) were captaining England.
Or when Graeme Hick (born in Rhodesia) was playing in 65 Tests - plus 120 ODI’s.
And what about Allan Lamb (born in South Africa), Andrew Strauss (born Johannesburg) or Tim Ambrose (born Australia)? And how many of the Barmy Army would advocate kicking Kevin Pietersen out and sending him in to bat for his native country instead?
You can also forget the rubbish rumour that this is some kind of Notts conspiracy theory, to weaken them further so that they don’t win anything this season.
If that was the case, Chris Read - the best wicket-keeper in the country - would now be keeping wicket to Pattinson, Flintoff and co instead of that ‘batting sensation’ Ambrose - wouldn’t he?

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