Cricket: Selectors united over Atherton's captaincy

Click to follow
ENGLAND'S cricket selectors have formed a united front in the hope of persuading Mike Atherton to continue as captain.

Their chairman, Ray Illingworth, and the England manager, Keith Fletcher, are agreed that Atherton should lead this winter's Ashes challenge. Neither Fred Titmus nor Brian Bolus are likely to disagree when all four selectors meet in Birmingham tomorrow.

There has been speculation that Titmus and Bolus would prefer Mike Gatting in charge. But Titmus said yesterday: 'I have told Keith Fletcher to tell Mike Atherton I am behind him. I will be disappointed if he doesn't lead the team to Australia. He has shown a lot of character this summer.'

Although Bolus declined to comment, it is understood he favours a unanimous verdict.

David Graveney, 41, is to retire at the end of the season after 23 years in the first-class game. He captained Gloucestershire from 1981-88 and is now Durham's vice-captain. He has taken 27 wickets with his left-arm spin this season for a career total of 977.