Cricket: Dexter opens in selectors' defence

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The Independent Online
TED DEXTER, the chairman of the England selectors, will appear before the Test and County Cricket Board at its two-day spring meeting, which starts today at Lord's, as the official inquest into England's Test whitewash by India gets underway.

However, the chairmen of the 18 first-class counties are in no position to criticise the choice of players for India as they gave their 'unanimous and enthusiastic support for the team as chosen' when the public outcry over the omissions of David Gower and Jack Russell reached its height in December.

The TCCB members are more likely to question the wisdom of not taking a doctor on tour and to require explanations for some of the team-selection decisions taken in India.

No one is likely to demand Dexter's resignation and the only selector in danger of losing his job is Dennis Amiss. He is seeking re- election, but is being challenged by fellow former England batsmen, Brian Bolus and Phil Sharpe.

The main domestic issue concerns ball-tampering and if a recommendation from the Board's cricket committee is approved umpires will inspect the ball at the end of every over during County Championship and one-day matches next season as well as conducting random checks.

Should they decide the ball has been doctored, the umpires will offer the batsmen the choice of a replacement from a selection of six balls and an official warning will be delivered to the fielding side.

In the event of a second offence during the same innings, the bowler in action at the time will be removed from the attack for the rest of that innings.

'We don't see ball-tampering as a major problem in English cricket and we hope this suggested course of action prevents it from ever becoming one,' Tim Lamb, for the TCCB, said.