Cricket: Fraser rejects Illingworth's fitness criticism

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The Independent Online
ANGUS FRASER arrived home from the West Indies yesterday and rebuffed Ray Illingworth's suggestion that his fitness might not stand up to a punishing summer of international cricket and next winter's tour to Australia. 'I bowled over 90 overs in 10 days, more than anyone else,' the Middlesex bowler said. 'I don't know what more he wants.'

Illingworth, the new chairman of selectors, had described the tour party's performance in the Caribbean as 'not good enough' and was particularly disappointed with Graeme Hick, Jack Russell, Chris Lewis and Mark Ramprakash.

He promised wholesale changes, but this view was not shared by the England manager Keith Fletcher. 'I can't say there are going to be that many radical changes,' he said. 'There are a lot of good things which have come out of this tour. There are a lot of better players now in this team.'

Brian Lara, who broke the world record for the highest individual score in Test cricket, received a warm welcome on his return home to Trinidad. Among the thousands at Port of Spain airport was the Prime Minister Patrick Manning, who said a new city street would be named the Brian Lara Promenade.

Lara plans three days of celebrations in Trinidad before flying to England on Monday to play for Warwickshire.

Lara profile, page 12