Cricket: Hollioake's men can shape the future

If England win the Champions Cup on Friday, then it is likely that the principle of separate one-day and Test squads will be adopted. Derek Pringle reports from Sharjah on a bold experiment that looks like succeeding.

England's seamless progress to the final of the Akai-Singer Champions Cup here, has been a triumph of strategy over convenience. By tailoring their side to the demands and parameters of this one-day competition, Adam Hollioake's team have perhaps set a precedent that even the financially cautious England and Wales Cricket Board will find difficult to ignore. Win or lose on Friday, the days of single party tours must surely be numbered.

But while the ECB pre-varicate upon the matter, the view from the England dressing-room - particularly with the World Cup at stake in just under 18 months time - is that there is simply no other way.

"The Board should see it as an investment," reckoned Hollioake, when asked if the ECB might blanche at the the cost of such a venture. The current England one-day captain in residence adding: "If they are not going to keep this squad together for the one-day series in the West Indies, they may as well call the whole thing off right now. There is no point in going off half-cock. At the end of the day if you are not prepared to pay, you can't expect results."

It is a philosophy that is echoed, though somewhat less forcefully, by the England coach, David Lloyd. "I hope we can take the nucleus of this squad here out to the one-day series in the West Indies, and perhaps add four or five players from the Test team as well."

No doubt Lloyd was thinking about the likes of Michael Atherton and Darren Gough, who were both excused Sharjah, as well as one or two others such as Mark Ramprakash and Andy Caddick.

Lloyd, who stressed that it was "his thinking and not a decision," also hopes to assemble a one-day squad of 22 players for next summer when England play a triangular series against South Africa and Sri Lanka.

"It's no, mean feat to get to the final on the back of a few nets in Manchester," said Lloyd, implying that his and the England selectors' demands in preparing this squad had not been excessive.

Mind you, the logistics, at least for getting a squad ready for the West Indies, are not straightforward. Indeed, England's attempts to prepare one-day specialists for the previous World Cup, by taking them to South Africa towards the end of the Test series there, caused confusion.

Despite the right intentions, England followed a 6-1 loss in the one- day series to South Africa, with a swift exit from the World Cup, where they failed to beat a single Test-playing nation. With "previous" like that, the ECB is unlikely leap in again, without considering the consequences. Yet if England win the final against West Indies, few will be able to deny the overwhelming success of this well-conceived experiment.

With one-day cricket looking the most likely way to spread and popularise the game round the world, England need to be at the forefront, and that means having largely separate squads for Test and one-day cricket.

Trying to stay ahead of the game is forcing England cricket to become more labour intensive, which in turn means extra expense. If England are to challenge for the World Cup in 18 months' time or the Ashes next winter, the ECB will have to start balancing finances with priorities. A good showing by England on Friday, may be just the spur.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk