England tour of India - News - Cricket: Axe Croft, Caddick from future teams: Chappell

Published: Sunday, November 4, 2001, 21:28 [IST]
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New Delhi: Former Australian cricket captain Ian Chappell said on Sunday England should not name Andrew Caddick and Robert Croft in its next squad because they pulled out of the upcoming Indian tour."This is the ideal opportunity for the (England) selectors to start weeding out those who are not really committed to the cause when a tough series looms," Chappell wrote in a column in the Hindustan Times newspaper.Fast bowler Caddick and off spinner Croft, originally named in the England squad, last Tuesday withdrew from the tour because of security fears in view of the US-led air strikes on nearby Afghanistan."The selectors should make an example of Croft and Caddick and not include them in the next squad," Chappell said, adding that the England cricket team had been too soft for too long when the "real challenges are on the line". "This would be a clear indication to all potential England players that in future the selectors would consider attitude right up there along with talent when choosing teams."Chappell said he found Croft's decision strange because an off spinner would never find a better place to bowl than India. "Ask Harbhajan Singh," he said, referring to the Indian off spinner's record 32-wicket haul against Steve Waugh's Australians, which helped his team clinch a three-Test home series early this year. "Croft obviously does not want badly enough to play for England," Chappell said, adding that England's cricketers had been the "best excuse-finders" for a long time."It has been suggested (by an Englishman) that Croft's decision had a lot to do with the dreaded 'T', but, in this case, it was Tendulkar, not terrorism. If this England team is really committed to the tour of India, then it will give a good account of itself. But if it is only there because it feels it is its duty then it will strike trouble."England, due to arrive in India on November 14, is scheduled to play three Tests at Mohali, Ahmedabad and Bangalore. It will then return home for Christmas before coming back to India mid-January for a series of five One-day Internationals.

Copyright AFP 2001

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