David Graveney says sorry to ~~Fat Boy~~ Gough

Published: Friday, January 19, 2007, 23:30 [IST]
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London:England chairman of selectors David Graveney tendered a public apology to team discard Darren Gough for poor handling of the pacer's omission from the World Cup squad.

Gough was ignored amid fat-boy jokes as England picked its list of 30 World Cup probables and the rotund pacer, whose 235 ODI wickets are an England record, was incensed after being informed by text about his exclusion.

''I would be the first person to say that in hindsight what I did at the time was not the right way to deal with it,'' Graveney was quoted as saying by The Guardian.

''Particularly with Darren's years of service to England, I should have dealt with that with a lot more sensitivity towards a person of his standing. It was portrayed in an insulting way towards Darren, which I regret. He is very professional and he does a lot of work to keep himself fit and look after his legs. Everybody accepts that he has some serious injuries, but the bottom line is that the selectors have decided that they want to stick with younger bowlers,'' he explained.

Elaborating why he sent the text message, Graveney said, ''I do pride myself on making phone calls. On this occasion I thought he was in Australia, but I wasn't sure, so I sent him a text message in case it was three o'clock in the morning in England. That went awry, and then the way it was reported was Fat Boy Gough.'' Softening the stance on the pacer, Graveney said, ''One great quality about Darren is that he backs himself and still feels he has a role to play. The bottom line was that we wanted to stick with the young bowlers. You can never say that his England career is over, but obviously time is against him.''


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