Why was I kept out of attack Freddie, asks Mahmood

Published: Wednesday, December 20, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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London:Disappointed at being 'ignored' and under-bowled, England pacer Sajid Mahmood says he is still awaiting an explanation from skipper Andrew Flintoff as to why he was kept out of attack for long spells in the third Ashes Test at Perth.

''It was a strange game for me because there were times during Australia's second innings when I began to question what I was doing on the pitch. I had to wonder whether I had been selected as a bowler,'' Mahmood wrote in his column for 'The Guardian'.

''I'm sure Freddie had his reasons for keeping me out of the attack for such long periods, but I was a bit surprised. I felt a little bit ignored at times, especially after my first two overs in the second innings when I didn't get another go until about the 70th over,'' he added.

''Freddie has not spoken to me yet about why he did what he did, but I would like to stress that Freddie and I definitely get on.

I'll just be disappointed if I get dropped without getting the chance to show what I can do,'' a dejected Mahmood said.

Australia registered consecutive victories in the first three Tests to regain the Ashes and Mahmood said he could only watch as the World Champions demolished his team. The pacer said he was frustrated when his captain did not involve him in the only game he has played so far.

''...I wanted to be involved in the game so much, and when you're not getting the ball thrown to you, you get a little bit disappointed,'' he said.

The bowler, who is also a Lancashire team-mate of Flintoff, said he was gutted after the Ashes slipped out of England's hands in just over 15 months time.

''I was so excited about playing my first Ashes Test, but that excitement doesn't come near to the disappointment we're all feeling right now. To lose the urn after only 15 months is a horrible feeling,'' he said.

Describing the gloom in the English dressing room, the bowler said none of the players spoke to each other after the crushing defeat.

''...although Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist came in to shake our hands. But the atmosphere wasn't good, and I shot off pretty sharpish. When you win, you're happy to sit back in the dressing room and reflect on the match, but the associations with that place weren't good,'' he recalled.


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