Giles returns home to look after his wife
Monday 18 December 2006
As Ashley Giles returned home from Australia at the weekend after his wife, Stine, was diagnosed with a brain tumour, the former England captain Graham Gooch said he feels there needs to be "some checks and balances with the selection system" on tour after the spinner Monty Panesar was left on the sidelines for the start of the Ashes series while Giles played.
Jamie Dalrymple, the Middlesex spinner, has replaced Giles in the England squad and may make his Test debut in the fifth Test, which begins on 2 January.
Giles had spent almost a year out with hip and groin injuries, but was preferred to Panesar for the first two Tests, in Brisbane and Adelaide. Following his return at the WACA and a stunning return of 5 for 92 which reignited England's slim hopes of saving the series, there had been questions asked of the head coach Duncan Fletcher as to why Panesar had not been unleashed earlier.
Gooch feels the introduction of a senior selector similar to the Australian model may help to ensure a "potential match-winner" like Panesar is not left out.
"An England team firing with their best side are a match for Australia - and we saw that in 2005," he said. "Unfortunately, England have not been at their best in this series and have been second best in pretty much all departments.
"There are big questions over the selection and the make-up of the side, and certainly whether England management's structure on tour is the correct one.
"One of best parts of English cricket over the past 12 months has been the emergence of Monty Panesar as a class bowler, and I do not think against Australia you can afford not to have your best bowlers.
"The selection process was put in place in the summer where Chris Read and Panesar were playing, then as soon as they go on tour, that was changed around. I think there has got to be some checks and balances with the selection system."
He added: "You need a different view from someone to oversee the whole situation. When I started, there used to be a tour manager, to give a dispassionate view on the side, and I would have thought a senior member of the selection panel being on hand would be something to be considered.
"Because if England lose the Ashes, and it looks that way, then the question is going to be 'who is accountable'?"
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