Tag Archives: warwickshire

County Championship 2013: Nick Compton"s rise highlights importance of domestic circuit

County cricket is back! And if you're in any doubt how relevant it is, just ask Compton

By
Richard Gibson

PUBLISHED:

22:26 GMT, 9 April 2013

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UPDATED:

09:19 GMT, 10 April 2013

Anyone wondering whether the County Championship retains its relevance within the framework of 21st-century cricket ought to pose the question to Nick Compton.

In an age when Twenty20 offers the quickest route to fame and fortune, Compton took the sleepy backroads around the shires with Somerset to reach the international fast lane.

Perhaps held back in his early career by lugging a famous surname around, the 29-year-old has flourished since moving to Taunton in 2010.

Driving seat: Nick Compton hit back-to-back centuries in New Zealand to all but secure his Ashes spot

Driving seat: Nick Compton hit back-to-back centuries in New Zealand to all but secure his Ashes spot

Prolific: Compton averaged 99.25 last season

Prolific: Compton averaged 99.25 last season

Last season he achieved a Bradman-esque
County Championship average of 99.25 and, two Test hundreds in New
Zealand later, he holds an England place three months shy of the Ashes.

‘The County Championship provides the route to the England team and it is really important that message is projected.

'Compton is a fine example of someone who was banging out big runs to a degree where we could no longer not pick him,’ acknowledged England limited-overs coach Ashley Giles as county sides prepare for Wednesday's opening games of the Championship season.

‘In the end he selected himself by the sheer weight of numbers he was stacking up and that has to be a boost for all county cricketers out there.

'From my experience with Warwickshire, he was by far the stand-out guy we played against; by virtue of the fact you actually had to get him out.

'He exhibited the skills you look for in a top player as well. You can’t just do it by getting runs, you have to display the mental and physical attributes to play Test cricket.’

Mark Butcher, a predecessor of Compton’s as an England Test opener, added: ‘Compo’s thing is that he was not picked on the basis of one glorious summer. He has done it year in, year out and that as much as anything is the lesson for others.’

Recognition: England coach Ashley Giles believes Compton selected himself after his prolific run-scoring

Recognition: England coach Ashley Giles believes Compton selected himself after his prolific run-scoring

Championship cricket, with its
unrelenting schedule, remains the best gauge of a player’s credentials,
according to Giles, the director of cricket who guided Warwickshire to
the title last September.

‘Over
the course of a long season, take away all the variables of weather,
injuries to a degree, and it is the best signal of who is the best
cricket team in the land,' he said.

On Wednesday morning, the Championship
pennant will be hoisted on the pavilion at Edgbaston for the champions’
opening fixture against Derbyshire. But who does Giles view as the most
likely challengers this year

Champions: Warwickshire will begin their Division One defence on Wednesday against Derbyshire

Champions: Warwickshire will begin their Division One defence on Wednesday against Derbyshire

Addition: Middlesex have been strengthened by the signing of James Harris (left)

Addition: Middlesex have been strengthened by the signing of James Harris (left)

‘I think Middlesex will be a dangerous side,’ he said. ‘When we sat back at the end of last season and reflected, we felt they were the most similar side to us in how they played their cricket. If they had nudged us a bit harder last year I reckon they could have beaten us but they were quite tentative.’

Former Surrey batsman Butcher, meanwhile, said: ‘I will be keeping an eye on Yorkshire because they are a very talented group. They have some young guys in there so to go all the way might be beyond them because of that youth.

‘To me it’s no surprise that Warwickshire got into positions to win things over the past couple of years because of the average age of their team. They are a mature team, not an old team.'

Cups run over: All the trophies that will be played for this summer, and the Ashes in the middle

Cups run over: All the trophies that will be played for this summer, and the Ashes in the middle

Ashley Giles and Mark Butcher were talking ahead of this year’s LV= County Catch-up – A monthly online programme featuring news, player interviews and behind the scenes insight from the LV= County Championship circuit.

Where do Aston Villa and Paul Lambert go from here?

After their drubbing by Wigan, where do Aston Villa and Lambert go from here

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 30 December 2012

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There would be few prizes for guessing the topic of conversation as Aston Villa’s decision makers gathered for a summit meeting yesterday.

Owner Randy Lerner, chief executive Paul Faulkner and manager Paul Lambert would have but one subject in mind: where on earth do we go from here

Oh, to have been a fly-on-the-wall at Lerner’s converted farmhouse in the north Warwickshire countryside as the latest depressing episode in Villa’s history was dissected.

What now It was a case of it never rains but it pours for Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert as they slumped to a dire 3-0 defeat by Wigan on Saturday

What now It was a case of it never rains but it pours for Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert as they slumped to a dire 3-0 defeat by Wigan on Saturday

Fifteen goals conceded in three matches. The heaviest defeat in the club’s history at Chelsea. Back-to-back home reversals to Spurs on Boxing Day and relegation rivals Wigan Athletic on Saturday.

In 2010, as Gerard Houllier fought with Villa’s senior players, Lerner was backed into a corner and stumped up 18million with 6m add-ons to purchase Darren Bent and guarantee Premier League survival.

Twelve months ago the situation was not as desperate. But Alex McLeish still asked for, and received, temporary assistance in the shape of Robbie Keane. Villa limped over the line to safety, the club damaged by the bitterness surrounding a misguided managerial appointment.

After a change of policy to bringing in young and hungry players under Lambert, the club once more find themselves at a crossroads.

Several senior players are currently sidelined through injury. Another clutch of first-teamers have been marginalised at the manager’s discretion and there is a third group whose top-flight experience extends to half a season. The situation is crying out for decisive action.

Rock bottom: Villa's Stephen Ireland (left) and Chris Herd don't know where to look as Wigan take control of the match

Rock bottom: Villa's Stephen Ireland (left) and Chris Herd don't know where to look as Wigan take control of the match

Bizarrely, it is little more than two weeks since Villa won 3-1 at Anfield. It was in the week building up to that game that Lambert’s team defeated Norwich City to confirm a spot in the League Cup semi-finals against Bradford City. Incredibly, Wembley beckons.

But so, on the form of the past week, does relegation.

Of course, Lambert can do little about the series of injuries that have befallen key players.

Ron Vlaar, Gabby Agbonlahor, Charles N’Zogbia and Darren Bent are all on the treatment table.

The problem for Lambert is that these absences are recent. Villa were hardly pulling up any trees in the Premier League with their help.

And Bent finds himself in two groups. First, among those senior players who are missing through injury. However, he can also count himself among those who have been marginalised. When Lambert arrived, he did so with a promise to get the club’s star striker firing again.

Grim outlook: Some embarrassed faces on the Villa bench as they lose to Wigan

Grim outlook: Some embarrassed faces on the Villa bench as they lose to Wigan

He promptly made him captain.

Suddenly, Bent was dropped. Not just from the team, but from the squad. What happened

Lambert had tried to replicate what he had done with his previous club, Norwich City. When the former Champions League winner (as a midfielder with Borussia Dortmund) arrived at Carrow Road, he identified Grant Holt as the man who could keep order in the dressing room and set a good example.

When Lambert asked Bent to do the same at Villa, the club’s manager was disappointed with the response.

He was then faced with a dilemma. Should he allow the England international to continue in a role to which he clearly wasn’t suited Or does he exert his managerial authority and teach Bent a lesson

Too easy: Wigan's Ivan Ramis celebrates opening the scoring after three minutes

Too easy: Wigan's Ivan Ramis celebrates opening the scoring after three minutes

With so many young professionals, Lambert chose the second option. Bent is now recovering from a hamstring injury. And the Scot is under severe pressure. His honeymoon is over. The issue remains.

In fairness, Villa supporters have bestowed the most generous of mandates on Lambert to produce winning football.

‘We’ve had some really heavy defeats,’ said Brett Holman, who is as straight-talking as his Australian background would suggest, ‘we are in a dip.

‘People might say we lack Premier League experience, but they weren’t saying it after we beat Liverpool at Anfield.

‘It could help if you have a couple of players who have 200-300 league games behind them.’

Just a dip: Brett Holman (centre) defended Villa's young team

Just a dip: Brett Holman (centre) defended Villa's young team

And so to yesterday’s meeting. Lerner is reluctant to keep footing the bill for huge losses but appreciates he may need to dig deep to avoid a relegation battle once more.

Lambert wants an experienced centre half, an energetic, ball-winning midfielder and another striker. All preferably with Premier League experience.

But which player, of any experience and quality, is going to see Aston Villa as a good career move

Of course, Villa could always do nothing. Tough it out.

But with three cup-ties in January, not to mention home games against fellow relegation candidates Southampton and Newcastle, it would be a bold gamble.

Alex McLeish linked with Wolves job

McLeish could complete unlikely trio of Midlands jobs as pressure mounts on Stale at Wolves

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UPDATED:

22:46 GMT, 30 November 2012

Alex McLeish has emerged as a surprise contender for the Wolves manager’s job if Stale Solbakken fails to reverse the club’s fortunes.

The former Scotland, Birmingham and Aston Villa manager was at last week’s home game with Nottingham Forest.

McLeish, who has been out of work since being sacked by Villa in May, was spotted in the directors’ box as he took in the game. He retains a base in Warwickshire. He guided Birmingham to promotion from the Championship in 2008.

Closing in: Alex McLeish is in line for the Wolves job if Stale Solbakken gets the chop

Closing in: Alex McLeish is in line for the Wolves job if Stale Solbakken gets the chop

After failing to win any of Wolves’ last nine matches, Solbakken is under pressure. Although Wolves’ owner Steve Morgan has refused to ditch his bold plan after appointing the first continental coach in the club’s history, defeats against Bristol City and near neighbours Birmingham next week could see the supporters turn.

Vandals have already targeted Solbakken’s car — tipping paint over his black BMW.

However, unless there is an upturn in fortunes soon some unwanted modifications to his car will be the least of his worries.

Andy Flower quits as England one-day coach; Ashley Giles takes over

Flower steps down as England limited overs coach with Giles to take over

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UPDATED:

12:51 GMT, 28 November 2012

Ashley Giles has stepped up to become England’s limited overs coach in a shock move which sees Andy Flower remain in charge of just Test cricket.

The former England spinner, who has been both Warwickshire coach and England selector since retiring, had been expected to step in for Flower for just the Indian one-day series in January to give the Team Director a break.

But in a surprising and significant development Giles will now leave Edgbaston to take on the coach’s role for all 50-over and Twenty20 cricket and is clearly the heir apparent to Flower when he eventually calls it a day.

Stepping aside: Flower is to continue as Test head coach

Stepping aside: Flower is to continue as Test head coach

Flower said: 'I’m very excited by these changes and very much looking forward to working with Ashley Giles as we look to build on the success England cricket has had in the last few years.

'The changes in my role will provide me with new challenges and the time to allow me to focus on areas that are important if England cricket is to continually improve.

'These include developing strategies to give us an opportunity for sustaining success in all three formats of the game. The change in role will also allow me to thoroughly plan and prepare for each of our international series whilst spending the right amount of time at home with my young family.'

Giles, who appeared in 54 Tests and 62 one-day internationals for England, added: 'I am delighted to have been appointed England ODI and T20 Head Coach and to be given an opportunity to coach at international level.

Shock: The announcement was unexpected

Shock: The announcement was unexpected

'I have worked closely with Andy in recent years as a selector and am looking forward to continuing to work together and to build on the progress that has been made with the ODI and T20 sides in recent years.'

Flower has endured a difficult year,
with poor results and the drawn-out Kevin Pietersen saga dominating his
time, and concern had grown that the most successful coach in England’s
history may be hastened towards the exit door.

Yet the ECB vowed to do everything in
their power to keep Flower at the helm as long as possible and seemed
set to give him a break early next year.

Now that has been extended to all
limited overs cricket and Giles, who led Warwickshire to the county
championship title last summer, will start his new role as soon as
England’s thoughts turn to limited overs cricket in the new year.

The hope now is that the move
prolongs Flower’s involvement at the head of the England team for as
long as possible as he turns his thoughts to the back to back Ashes
series that will dominate next year.

Up for the cup: Giles lifts the County Championship earlier this year

Up for the cup: Giles lifts the County Championship earlier this year

Giles, meanwhile, will have the
immediate challenge of the Champions Trophy in England next summer which
gives England a realistic chance of their first global 50-over trophy.
He will then turn his attention to the 2015 World Cup.

The popular member of the 2005
Ashes-winning side has clearly been identified as the best English coach
around and jumps ahead of Flower’s assistant Richard Halsall, who
filled in when Flower was ill during the last Ashes tour and for a
one-day international assignment in Ireland last year.

Halsall, who began as specialist
fielding coach, is expected to return to the world of teaching when his
time with England ends and it was unclear today where he fits in with
the new arrangement.

Giles has attracted some criticism
for having the dual role of county coach and England selector but now he
will throw in his lot completely with England. He will still answer to
Flower but clearly, unless something goes drastically wrong, he is now
destined to succeed him. That process started today.

ECB release 2013 domestic cricket fixtures

Warwickshire to start defence of County Championship against Derbyshire as 2013 domestic fixtures are announced

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UPDATED:

15:10 GMT, 26 November 2012

Warwickshire are set to begin their LV= County Championship defence at Edgbaston against newly promoted Derbyshire after the domestic season’s fixtures were announced this afternoon.

The first round of the County Championship matches starts on Wednesday April 10 after champions Warwickshire return from Abu Dhabi having taken part in the traditional season opener against MCC.

The Clydesdale Bank 40, meanwhile, begins on Friday May 3 with holders Hampshire taking on Essex at Chelmsford in the floodlit game.

Ready Warwickshire start their title defence against Derbyshire on April 10

Ready Warwickshire start their title defence against Derbyshire on April 10

The final of the competition, which sees the 18 first-class counties joined by Scotland, the Netherlands and the Unicorns, will be held on Saturday September 21 at Lord’s.

The Friends Life t20 begins on Wednesday June 26 and, as usual, will include the first-class counties divided into three geographical groups before being pitted against one another.

The Friends Life t20 Finals Day will be held at Edgbaston on Saturday August 17.

Seven international teams are scheduled to play series in the UK next summer with New Zealand, Australia, Australia A, Bangladesh A, Bangladesh U19s, Pakistan U19s, and Australia Women all touring.

A full list of fixtures are published on the ECB's website here.

LV=CHAMPIONSHIP FIXTURES ON THE OPENING DAY

All the below matches begin on Wednesday April 10

Warwickshire v Derbyshire Edgbaston, Birmingham

Durham v Somerset Emirates Durham ICG, Chester-le-Street

Yorkshire v Sussex Headingley Carnegie, Leeds

Nottinghamshire v Middlesex Trent Bridge, Nottingham

Hampshire win Clydesdale Bank 40 final at Lord"s

Hampshire add CB40 crown to T20 title after last-ball win in Lord's thriller

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UPDATED:

17:38 GMT, 15 September 2012

Hampshire were crowned the kings of limited overs cricket after a dramatic last-ball victory over Warwickshire in the Clydesdale Bank 40 final sealed a trophy double for the Royals.

Already Twenty20 champions, Hampshire laid the foundations for their Lord's triumph by posting 244 for five, the highest total in three years of CB40 finals.

Warwickshire's chase was inspired by a magnificent 81 from Ian Bell and a four from the penultimate ball of the match from Neil Carter drew the scores level.

Last-ball drama: Hampshire's players go wild as Neil Carter is run out

Last-ball drama: Hampshire's players go wild as Neil Carter is run out

Last-ball drama: Hampshire's players go wild as Neil Carter is run out

But Carter failed to get a bat onto Kabir Ali's final delivery and he was run out by Michael Bates, to leave Warwickshire on 244 for eight.

The scores were tied but Hampshire claimed the trophy by virtue of losing fewer wickets.

With the last four Lord's finals having been won by the chasing side, Warwickshire captain Jim Troughton invited Hampshire to bat first and they responded to the challenge.

Michael Carberry scored a quickfire 35 at the top of the innings, laying a solid foundation in an opening stand of 41 with James Vince.

Carberry launched Chris Woakes and
Ian Blackwell for sixes before he was caught by at point by Jeetan
Patel, who snared an excellent low catch just above the grass.

Fine knock: Ian Bell was in inspired form for Warwickshire

Fine knock: Ian Bell was in inspired form for Warwickshire

Fine knock: Ian Bell was in inspired form for Warwickshire

Jimmy Adams flicked a glorious six
over mid-wicket as he and Neil McKenzie took Hampshire past the 100 mark
with a 57-run partnership.

If Warwickshire thought they had
checked Hampshire's growing momentum with the removal of McKenzie for
19, bowled by Blackwell, they were wrong.

Adams brought up his half-century
from 51 deliveries before he eventually flashed at a wide delivery from
Woakes and played on, falling for 66.

Sean Ervine and Simon Katich took up
the baton in a sprint finish for Hampshire, racing to a 50-run
partnership from just 33 deliveries.

Ervine laid waste to the Warwickshire
attack in a blistering innings, hitting a six and six fours before
being caught behind for 57 by Tim Ambrose off Darren Maddy.

Katich, the former Australia
international, struck five boundaries in his unbeaten 35 as Hampshire
threw down the gauntlet to Warwickshire.

Key moment: Ian Bell is caught in the deep by Michael Carberry

Key moment: Ian Bell is caught in the deep by Michael Carberry

The Bears are confident chasers.

Five of their eight group wins were
secured when batting second while Hampshire were short of two bowlers
with Danny Briggs on England Twenty20 duty and Dimitri Mascarenhas
sidelined through injury.

Openers Maddy and Varun Chopra took a different approach to Hampshire, putting on 53 for the first wicket at a measured pace.

But the inability of Warwickshire's
batsmen, with the exception of Bell, to build on strong starts to their
innings proved to be the Bears' undoing.

Chopra was caught by Adams off a
Chris Wood slower ball for 26 and Maddy then went for 35 after chipping
Liam Dawson to mid-wicket as Warwickshire slipped to 89 for two.

Ambrose smashed Katich for two fours
as he and Bell guided Warwickshire past the 100 mark before the
wicketkeeper was caught behind off Wood for 26.

Record score: Hampshire set up the win with a sparkling innings

Record score: Hampshire set up the win with a sparkling innings

Record score: Hampshire set up the win with a sparkling innings

When Troughton followed soon after
for five, the responsibility for Warwickshire's double bid had fallen
squarely on Bell's shoulders.

The England batsman enjoyed taking on
the Hampshire bowling, scoring nine fours and a six as he guided
Warwickshire to the brink of victory.

With 10 overs remaining, Warwickshire were on 191 for four, exactly where Hampshire had been at the same point in their innings.

Wood bowled Rikki Clarke for 24 but
Bell still led the chase, launching 13 from one Kabir over before
finally succumbing, caught in the deep by Carberry off Woakes.

Warwickshire still required 27 from
the final three overs and Woakes did his best with an unbeaten 24,
including successive boundaries off Wood to leave the Bears requiring
seven from the last six balls.

When Kabir bowled Blackwell, that
equation changed to five from three before Carter's sublime cover drive
brought the scores level.

Champagne moment: Hampshire celebrate their second title of the summer

Champagne moment: Hampshire celebrate their second title of the summer

Champagne moment: Hampshire celebrate their second title of the summer

But amid unbearable tension, with
many on the Warwickshire balcony unable to watch, Carter could not get a
bat on the final delivery of the match.

Wicketkeeper Michael Bates did
brilliantly to gather Kabir's full delivery and preserve the dot ball,
the most celebrated dot ball of Hampshire's triumphant season.

'It hasn't sunk in,' said Hampshire captain Adams, who was named man of the match. 'Kabir did a great job and the seamers held their nerve and we just snuck over,' said the skipper, who was named man of the match after his 66.

'I have been a bit short of runs, the last few games I have come good. I'm just very happy to contribute today.'

With regulars Dimitri Mascarenhas and Danny Briggs missing from the side, there was pressure on fringe players such as Kabir to step up. They did and Adams was keen to pay tribute to their performance.

'They have been brilliant today,' he added. 'We are missing a few guys but the other guys came in and made it count. It has been a great day's cricket and we are fortunate to come out on the right side of it.'

Warwickshire win County Championship

Just champion! Warwickshire claim first County Championship crown since 2004

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UPDATED:

13:00 GMT, 6 September 2012

The Bears eased to victory by an innings and 202 runs to finish top of the table for the first time since 2004.

Having bowled out Division One's bottom club for just 60 on the opening day, Warwickshire declared at 471 for eight before Worcestershire reached stumps on Wednesday night on 100 for two in their second innings.

The demolition job continued on
Thursday with Warwickshire claiming the eight wickets required to wrap
up the one-sided win shortly after lunch.

Job done: Warwickshire beat rivals Worcestershire to claim the LV County Championship crown

Job done: Warwickshire beat rivals Worcestershire to claim the LV County Championship crown

Only Moeen Ali's unbeaten 72 provided
any resistance to Warwickshire's march towards the title, but when he
ran out of partners his spirited defence was brought to an end.

Chris Wright finished as the pick of
the Warwickshire attack in the second innings, finishing with figures of
four for 65, including all three wickets after lunch.

Warwickshire's nearest challengers Sussex endured a difficult morning at the crease as they lost six wickets before lunch against Somerset at Hove.

Got him: Chris Wright was one to help tidy up the tail for the Bears

Got him: Chris Wright was one to help tidy up the tail for the Bears

Resuming on 186 for two, Sussex lost
centurion Chris Nash (126) with their score on 230, before losing five
more wickets for the addition of just 40 runs to reach the interval on
270 for eight.

Alfonso Thomas did the damage for the
home side, claiming five wickets at the cost of just 64 runs this
morning, including those of Nash and Murray Goodwin (77).

Relegation-battling Lancashire
continued to make inroads into Middlesex's lead at Lord's but victory
appears an unlikely prospect for the Red Rose with just five sessions
left in the match.

At lunch the visitors were on 327 for five in reply to Middlesex's 446, with Ashwell Prince removed on 71.

More to follow…

Resistance: Moeen Ali offered some hope for Worcestershire before he was caught by Richard Johnson

Resistance: Moeen Ali offered some hope for Worcestershire before he was caught by Richard Johnson

England v South Africa – live score second ODI

LIVE: England v South Africa – follow the score from the second ODI in Southampton

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UPDATED:

07:50 GMT, 28 August 2012

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England finally start their NatWest Series against South Africa on Tuesday at the Ageas Bowl after the washout at Cardiff last Friday.

Warwickshire's Chris Woakes is set to keep his place after being recalled to the side in place of the rested Stuart Broad in Cardiff. Test captain Andrew Strauss is not available while Matt Prior is not in the squad, and star batsman Kevin Pietersen remains in exile.

South Africa are also likely to make sweeping changes to the side which won the Test series 2-0, with lead seamer Dale Steyn unlikely to be selected and a handful of limited-overs specialists, including Dean Elgar, Robin Petersen, Wayne Parnell, Ryan McLaren and Lonwabo Tsotsobe all set to be included.

Follow the live score when the match gets underway at 1pm local time.

Final preparations: England's Eoin Morgan bats at nets at the Ageas Bowl

Final preparations: England's Eoin Morgan bats at nets at the Ageas Bowl

From Barrington to Pietersen: Six cricketers who fell foul of England

From Barrington to Pietersen: Six cricketers who fell foul of England

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UPDATED:

22:48 GMT, 14 August 2012

Kevin Pietersen is not the only England player to be dropped for an indiscretion -either on and off the field. Lawrence Booth recalls the players who have fallen foul of the English cricket authorities.

Ken Barrington

One of England’s greatest batsmen, Barrington made the mistake of taking seven hours 17 minutes to score 137 against a weak New Zealand side at Edgbaston in 1965. England won the game easily, but Wisden described his innings as a ‘tedious exhibition’: at one point, Barrington – batting with an unusual two-eyed stance – failed to score for 20 overs. With the authorities in the 1960s desperate to serve up brighter cricket for the public, Barrington was dropped for the next Test at Lord’s.

Unbeaten: But Geoffrey Boycott paid the price for his slow scoring

Unbeaten: But Geoffrey Boycott paid the price for his slow scoring

Geoff Boycott

A Test-best unbeaten 246 against India in 1967 at Headingley, his home ground, should have been the highlight of Boycott’s career. Instead England dropped him for what they regarded as selfish batting. In all, he faced 555 balls, with journalist John Woodcock describing the effort as ‘more of an occupation than an innings’. Boycott later wrote: ‘The alternative was to give my wicket away and return to the anonymity of the dressing room.’

Brian Close

Appointed England captain towards the end of the 1966 summer, Close did not last long in the job after he was accused of time-wasting during a tense run-chase in a county championship match between Yorkshire and Warwickshire at Edgbaston. The Yorkshire chairman Brian Sellers did not help matters by apologising for the incident to the MCC, who promptly sacked Close at the end of the 1967 home series with Pakistan. In his seven Tests in charge, England won six and drew one.

Tony Greig

When Greig, then the England captain, signed up with Kerry Packer in 1977 to take part in his World Series Cricket, the game’s establishment spluttered collectively into their gin and tonics. Donald Carr of the old Test and County Cricket Board – now the ECB – complained of a ‘breach of normal trust’. Greig, who was immediately sacked as captain, insisted he had taken the action ‘in the best interests of cricketers the world over’.

Ousted: Tony Greig (left) was relieved of his duties after the Kerry Packer affair

Ousted: Tony Greig (left) was relieved of his duties after the Kerry Packer affair

Mike Gatting

His eventual downfall as captain turned out to be a dalliance with a barmaid called Louise Shipman in the Rothley Court Hotel in Leicester during the first Test against West Indies at Trent Bridge in 1988. But the TCCB were merely looking for their moment to pounce following Gatting’s finger-wagging exchange with umpire Shakoor Rana in the Faisalabad Test the previous winter.

Kevin Pietersen

After being sacked as England captain at the start of 2009 following his fallout with coach Peter Moores, Pietersen was dropped from the Test side on Sunday following revelations he had sent derogatory texts about Andrew Strauss and the dressing-room atmosphere to the South Africans. When he failed to deny the story, the ECB left him out of the squad – the game after his brilliant 149 in the second Test at Headingley.

Bell admits he found Pietersen"s dressing room comments "strange"

Bell admits he found Pietersen's dressing room comments 'strange'

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UPDATED:

23:34 GMT, 11 August 2012

Ian Bell admitted he found Kevin Pietersen's comments about a problem in the dressing room 'strange' but wanted him to continue in all forms of the game, something he has now committed to doing.

The Warwickshire player, speaking prior to Pietersen's posting of a video on YouTube, outlining his commitment to England, said: 'When we left Headingley I had not seen the comments. I had not seen them until Wednesday morning.

Pietersen

U-turn: Pietersen announced he was committed to playing for England in all forms of cricket in a video interview on YouTube

'It was obviously a little bit strange to hear that because when I left Headingley we were in a pretty positive mood.

'After the way Broady bowled, we got ourselves into that Test match and everyone was very tight and we were all looking forward to going to Lord's.

'So it was strange in a way to hear those comments. Are there dressing room issues Not really. Like I said, as a group when we left Headingley we were in a really positive mood.

'When we sat down to put a line behind the Test match, we felt there was a shift in momentum in the series.

'It was a feeling of 'they have got a few
injuries which obviously are going to hurt them a little bit and we can
turn this round'.

'That is how it felt in the dressing room and it was a bit of a surprise to be told about certain comments.

Ian Bell

Speaking out: Ian Bell says he found Pietersen's hints at dressing room problems 'strange'

'Kevin Pietersen is one of the best cricketers I have ever played with and we saw the other day he can turn a game round.

'Obviously we want him to be playing for England in all forms of the game.

'He knows everyone respects him. He knows the whole team do. That is what is strange (that he doesn't think they do).

'He knows everybody wants him in the team and everyone thinks he has got something different. We saw that the other day.

'There are certain things that Kev does that you can't teach and you can't coach and you can't learn. He just has it.

'When he was playing in the Birmingham League, I played against him when he was at Cannock and he was an off-spinner that batted at seven.

'Within a year he was one of the best, most destructive batters in county cricket. To see that happen in such a short period of time was incredible.

'He is different. He has got other things with his height and he just does things that other people can't do. That is something you can't teach.

'The other day Dale Steyn, the best bowler in the world, didn't know what to bowl at him and there are not many people that can do that.'