Basketball: Cadle rues Irish absence

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The Independent Online
COLIN IRISH, probably the most effective offensive player in the opening weeks of the Carlsberg League season, has dealt a blow to his former club coach, Kevin Cadle, by withdrawing from the England team for next month's European Championship semi-final round games against Russia, Denmark and Bulgaria.

Cadle released the 6ft 5in Irish from his Guildford team during the summer since when the England and Great Britain forward has led the scorers for his new club, Worthing Bears. He scored 30 points when Worthing ended the unbeaten league record of the champions, Guildford, two weeks ago.

Derby's Mike Landell, citing work commitments, and Thames Valley's Michael Obaseki have also withdrawn. Cadle has called Birmingham's forward Tony Simms into his squad of 13, from which he can name 10 for each game.

Irish refutes suspicions that he is no longer prepared to play under Cadle, either because of his release from Guildford or because he was unhappy with his role on last summer's Great Britain Olympic squad, which Cadle also coached.

'That's all history,' Irish said. 'I have a family and a mortgage and cannot afford the time or the money to be on the programme for two weeks.'

If England beat Russia by more than three points at Manchester's G-Mex centre on 11 November, then win in Denmark four days later, they will be guaranteed a place in next year's finals in Germany regardless of the result in Bulgaria on 18 November.

ENGLAND SQUAD (for European Championship semi-final round): A Bannister (Manchester), A Byrd (Guildford), K Brown (Guildford), S Bucknall (Villeurbanne, Fr), D Craven (Manchester), T Gordon (Guildford), M Henlan (Guildford), M Hubbard (Worthing), T Simms (Birmingham), C Miller (Guildford), J Moore (London), P Scantlebury (London), K Samuels (Derby).