Marsh lauds England fast bowlers as 'world-beaters'

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Rod Marsh, England's National Academy director, yesterday provided an optimistic analysis of England's future by claiming they now had a battery of fast bowlers capable of becoming the envy of world cricket.

Rod Marsh, England's National Academy director, yesterday provided an optimistic analysis of England's future by claiming they now had a battery of fast bowlers capable of becoming the envy of world cricket.

The former Australia wicketkeeper, who for the past three years has been responsible for developing England's leading players, delivered his report as he welcomed his fourth intake of students at the Academy in Loughborough.

"You need 10 fast bowlers in a battery to be a successful nation, given that it is fast bowlers that win the majority of matches around the world," Marsh said. "And we're getting close to 10 - they're looking the best group of fast bowlers in the world.

"They are all the right age as well. [Stephen] Harmison and Simon Jones are around 25 and the best years of a fast bowler's life are between 25 and 35, and these guys have not played a lot of cricket."

Marsh also believes England have emerging players ready to step up, including relatively experienced men such as Jones, Lancashire's James Anderson and Martin Saggers, of Kent - all of whom featured this summer.

There are also fine prospects like Jon Lewis, of Gloucestershire, Kent's David Stiff, Liam Plunkett, of Durham, and Lancashire's Sajid Mahmood, who all tour Dubai and Sri Lanka with the Academy after Christmas.

Marsh feels England can now challenge Australia in next summer's Ashes, adding: "It's high time someone said to Australia, 'Hang on a minute, we think we can beat you and put you under pressure' - then we'll find out what is going on in world cricket."

Comments