Croft's parting shot

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The Independent Online

Robert Croft has warned English cricket's administrators that they will not unearth a match-winning England spinner unless they produce drier pitches at county level.

The 33-year-old off-spinner announced his international retirement yesterday after a seven-year career which spanned 21 Tests and 50 one-day internationals so he can concentrate on captaining his county, Glamorgan.

Croft chose the announcement of his international retirement to highlight the need for the domestic game to produce consistently drier pitches. "I know there's an instruction from Lord's saying that pitches must start dry, but it either gets ignored or it's because of the climate we have in this country but it doesn't happen," he said.

"Because of that, a lot of the spin bowlers don't adopt an aggressive or positive attitude towards bowling spin in this country," he added.

"We tend to get used a lot to hold up an end while the seamers have a break. Then you're expected to go away and bowl on turning pitches. If you haven't got a positive mindset it's very tough to do."