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    September 30, 2008

    ECB announces squad for 2019 World Cup and 2021 Ashes

    In a span of three weeks, the ECB have announced the one-day and test squads to tour India towards the end of 2008.

    Former England captain Michael Vaughan was not picked despite getting a central contract.

    For the life of me, I can't understand why the squads have been announced so much in advance. The one-day leg of the tour only starts on November 9 while the test leg starts on December 5.

    Owais Shah, who sparkled in the 2006 tour, has been included. The expectation is that he, among others, will use the seven game one-day series to get some form and seal up a middle-order slot.

    It does look like a lot of planning, and sometimes that's not a bad thing. But it is equally likely that Shah scores next to nothing in the one-dayers he plays. Now, does he get considered for the test XI since there's no other competition for the middle order slot? England's lineup will most likely be: Strauss, Cook, Bell, Pietersen, Collingwood, TBS, Flintoff, Prior, Anderson, Harmison & Panesar. If Owais Shah, who has been earmarked for the #6 slot, doesn't score runs, then in the absence of any other middle-order option, either he will still be selected, or England will be forced to go in with one less batsman. Alternately, England will call up someone else.

    It's not about Owais Shah. It's about announcing a squad nearly two months in advance, and not having multiple options for a 'weak' slot. This time around, England play the one-dayers first. Will they focus on the one-dayers or the tests? It'd be fun to see what excuses are concocted this time around!

    In county cricket news, Durham, last year's runner-up in the English County Championship, by a slim 4.5 point margin, have won their first ever title. It is a huge achievement for a team that didn't even play first-class cricket two decades ago. It's a bit like Sri Lanka winning the 1996 World Cup.

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    Thus spake Jagadish @ 12:42 am |
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