England tour of India - Cricket: Croft not surprised at failing to make it into team

Published: Friday, January 4, 2002, 23:53 [IST]
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London: England off spinner Robert Croft said he was not surprised at his failure to be included in either of the remaining winter tour squads in London on Thursday.The 32-year-old bowler opted out of England's pre-Christmas Test tour to India citing security worries in the wake of September 11, the same reason given by New Zealand born paceman Andrew Caddick for his withdrawal.But while the Somerset quick has been included in the squads for the One-day series in India and New Zealand, and the following three-Test campaign in the land of his birth, Croft has been left on the sidelines.However, the Welshman admitted that his decision to stay at home had opened the door to 21-year-old Yorkshire rival Richard Dawson, who performed creditably in England's 1-0 Test series defeat in India."Every player who isn't picked for an England squad is disappointed and I'm no different, but I understand the lads who did well in India deserve another crack in New Zealand," said Croft"The lads did an admirable job out in India and it's up to me to work hard and get my place back. I want to get back in there and I'll be going full steam ahead to achieve that."I'm confident I can win my place back by performing well for Glamorgan because if I didn't still have the ambition left to play for England, I'd pack up completely."It was all a marked change of tone from Croft who became known as the "whingeing Welshman" after bitterly complaining about his omission from last winter's England tour to Pakistan.Despite his outburst he was recalled for the following Test series in Sri Lanka where nine wickets at less than 30 apiece helped England come from 1-0 down to win the series 2-1.Croft enjoyed success in New Zealand during England's last tour there in the 1996-97 season, taking 10 wickets in two Tests to help the team to a 2-0 series win.But he generously added that Dawson deserved his chance against New Zealand after bowling to fine players of spin such as Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid in India."I thought he (Dawson) grew up a lot in India," explained Croft. People have to remember that he has not played an awful lot of first-class cricket but he took on the likes of Tendulkar and Dravid and did well."

Copyright AFP 2001

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