Lancashire 113 & 233 Nottinghamshire 202 & 33-1: Shreck has the pace to join Nottinghamshire's national service
Friday 16 May 2008
Having groomed one England fast bowler in Ryan Sidebottom and made something of a strategic error in signing another in Stuart Broad, the last thing Nottinghamshire need is to have England selectors sniffing around to see who else they might part with in the national interest.
It may happen soon enough, however. Charlie Shreck, who took 5 for 40 here yesterday to leave his side well placed to secure a second County Championship victory of the season, has been on the England radar for a couple of years now – at 6ft 7in it would be hard to miss him – and this performance will only bring closer scrutiny.
Lancashire, 89 adrift on first innings, were bowled out for 233, giving Nottinghamshire a target of 145 to win, from which they had trimmed 33 by the close for one loss.
At 30, Shreck hardly rates as young and promising. Yet, having decided that youth is not everything, England have allowed themselves to be impressed by the pace and bounce the towering Cornishman can generate. He earned a late secondment to the England Lions in India in February, from which he will have drawn the clear inference that a good domestic season will not go unnoticed.
Nottinghamshire can only pray that Broad, from whom they were hoping for at least a season of Championship cricket, does well enough to convince England that one beanpole fast bowler is enough.
They will also hope that Tim Ambrose ends the debate over who is the right man to keep wicket. Otherwise Chris Read, inevitably, will again find himself the name on many lips. Geoff Miller, England's senior selector, has already hinted that Read's participation in the rebel Indian Cricket League might not be a hindrance after all. Yesterday, having annoyed himself hugely by putting down his first chance of the day, Read responded by taking six immaculately, equalling his personal best.
Tony Pigott, one of the England and Wales Cricket Board's pitch liaison officers, inspected the pitch after Wednesday's 20 wickets, but noted that the "consistently inconsistent bounce" that might have warranted further action was not present.
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