CRICKET : Selectors face sight of new blood

Michael Atherton, whose winter post-mortem only just stopped short of the suggestion that England might win a few more Test matches if they began scoring as many runs as the combined ages of their selectors, will shortly discover whether or not he is to be given a younger face or two to help him pick the team this summer.

There are three permanent selectors, Atherton, the captain, Ray Illingworth, the chairman, and Keith Fletcher, the team manager, plus two co-opted members, Fred Titmus and Brian Bolus. However, Titmus, 61, and Bolus, 62, are up for re-election tomorrow, less than a month after Atherton called for selectors who were "more in touch with the dynamics of the modern game."

Standing against them are Jack Simmons, the former Lancashire off spinner, and David Graveney, ex-captain of Gloucestershire and Durham. At 53 and 42, both fit Atherton's criterion rather better than the present incumbents. Neither has played Test cricket, although it is 32 and 21 years respectively (pre-helmet, and to Atherton's way of thinking, prehistoric) since Bolus and Titmus last played for England.

Graveney stood unsuccessfully 12 months ago, with Bolus and Titmus voted in largely on Illingworth's personal recommendation. However, Illingworth's stock has not exactly shot through the roof in the aftermath of another Ashes drubbing, and while Titmus is likely to be re-elected, Bolus's position is under serious threat from Graveney.

Atherton also let it be known in Australia that the combined majority vote of Illingworth, Bolus and Titmus left him without the squad he wanted for the Ashes series, although Titmus has subsequently contradicted that suggestion. "The only time I can ever recall a lengthy debate over a place was between [John] Crawley and [Graham] Thorpe at Lord's last summer," adding that Illingworth had "almost always" accommodated Atherton's wishes.

Titmus also fired a broadside at Atherton for the captain's suggestion that he had been lumbered with too many old players in Australia, with the unspoken suggestion that this had not been Atherton's doing. "At no time during selection," Titmus said, "was a youth policy ever mentioned by captain or manager."

The manager will certainly merit debate at this week's Test and County Cricket Board spring meeting. Fletcher still has two years of a five-year contract to run, and is only likely to finish prematurely if he decides to fall on his own sword. However, the Board's concern about Fletcher's poor record since taking over from Micky Stewart in 1992 will probably fall short of a hanging vote.

A more likely outcome is that Fletcher himself, who is becoming increasingly careworn in the job, will re-evaluate his own position at the end of this summer's six-Test series against the West Indies. As for Illingworth, he requires not only a summer of steady advance, but also firmer evidence that he and Atherton are pulling in the same direction rather than trying to score points off each other.

n In a circular sent to the 18 first-class counties, the Cricketers' Association, representing the country's 360 professionals, has threatened to refuse to sign their 1995 TCCB contracts - which in effect are a declaration that they agree to abide by the rules and regulations set out for the domestic game - unless a £20,000 minimum wage for capped players is instituted.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
footballA colourful discussion on tactics, the merits of the English footballer and rebuilding Manchester United
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Travel
The shipping news: a typical Snoozebox construction
travelSpending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Project Coordinator

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: The Organisation: The Green Recrui...

Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

Embedded Linux Engineer

£40000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Embedded Sof...

Senior Hardware Design Engineer - Broadcast

£50000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Working for a m...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz