Newell backs Pattinson decision by selectors but admits surprise

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The Independent Online

Nottinghamshire's director of cricket Mick Newell admitted yesterday that he was "surprised" by England's decision to turn to Darren Pattinson – but backed the seam bowler to succeed at international level.

Pattinson, who was born in Grimsby but has spent most of his life in Australia, had played only 11 first-class games, including six this summer for Nottinghamshire, before being chosen to face the Proteas at Headingley.

The selectors' decision to shun homegrown and experienced bowlers such as Steve Harmison, Chris Tremlett, Matthew Hoggard and Simon Jones has been criticised in some quarters amid suggestions that Pattinson has been promoted beyond even his own expectations. On Saturday night Harmison suggested that Pattinson's selection was a slap in the face for the country's young players. But Newell said: "Darren is doing as well as anyone – on a performance basis he's in and around the fringes. But it's surprising maybe England didn't go back to tried and trusted players like Hoggard and Harmison."

As for the future, Newell said he does not believe Pattinson's international career will be a short one, and predicted some winter involvement.

He added: "I'd imagine he would maybe get involved with England A over the winter and they can see how far they can take him. I wouldn't have thought he would be a regular in the England side straight away – but the selectors have obviously seen something they like to work with."