Anderson feeling boxed in by England one-day series
Jimmy Anderson was paraded yesterday to extol the delights of televised one-day international cricket in 3D. Playing it in any dimension for real would be much more pleasing for him at present.
Overnight, Anderson went from leader of England's attack to drinks carrier. Instead of being the main fast bowler in the World Twenty20, as was expected, he was ditched from the starting XI on the eve of the tournament. The proven striker was never recalled: shades of Jimmy Greaves in 1966 and all that.
He now expects not to play in the 50-over matches against Australia, starting next week, a five-match series that nobody except the authorities want. It has become clear that were it anybody else but the Aussies, with the Ashes at stake this winter, player resistance, not to mention that of the supporters, would be multiplied.
"It came as a shock to be left out," said Anderson. "I felt a little bit angry as well about getting rested for the Bangladesh tour and thought that might have had something to do with it. If I'd gone there, gone to Dubai, it might have been different but you have to take your hat off to the selectors in the end. We won."
What might have been has obviously crossed his mind a thousand times. Anderson has grown into the role of England's senior bowler – witness the authoritative advice he regularly dispenses from mid-off when he plays. "It has changed my thoughts on where I am in the side," he said. "During the South Africa tour I thought I was becoming a key part of the team, now I don't feel so much like that, certainly in one-day cricket. I can't see me starting against Australia."
Like many of his colleagues, Anderson is dubious about the merit of squeezing in a one-day series to a summer containing the football World Cup and declining attendances in domestic Twenty20. "I don't think it matters that we're playing Australia, I don't think there's a need for five one-day internationals at this time," he said. "It would be a perfect time to be playing for our counties but it's out of our hands."
England's first Natwest ODI against Bangladesh on 8 July will be live on Sky3D in over 1,000 pubs in the UK and Ireland. Log onto www.sky.com/3dpubs to find the nearest venue.
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