Cricket: England players must bounce back from their long journey

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The Independent Online
David Graveney's wish to spend more time with his England players was granted yesterday after a marathon journey to Pakistan. The chairman of selectors, acting as tour manager for the short tour to Pakistan and Sharjah, suffered alongside Adam Hollioake's squad as they endured a 17- hour trip from Heathrow to Lahore.

The squad are due to have their first outdoor net practice of the winter today and a full scale practice match is scheduled for tomorrow at the Lahore Gymkhana Club. On Friday and Sunday they play 50-over warm-up matches against Pakistan A at the Gaddafi Stadium.

Details were released yesterday of the compensation counties will receive next summer if the proposal that Graveney can gain extra control of England players is passed at tomorrow's meeting of the First Class Forum.

A working group concluded that England's busy schedule in 1998 and also leading up to the 1999 World Cup made it imperative that players should be made available at any time for extra practice, match preparation or rest.

The England Cricket Board treasurer, Cliff Barker, who was part of the working group, has proposed that pounds 500 per day should be paid to county clubs in compensation for taking a player out of a county fixture.

The current compensation of 75 per cent of international match fee, which varies according to seniority of player from between pounds 1,500 and pounds 1,800, will continue to be paid with respect to selection of players for Test matches.