Read finds England rejection 'hard to take'

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The Independent Online

Sports psychologists tell their clients to see disappointment as a springboard to achievement. Yet for Chris Read, putting a positive spin on the blow he suffered at the weekend must be especially hard.

Sports psychologists tell their clients to see disappointment as a springboard to achievement. Yet for Chris Read, putting a positive spin on the blow he suffered at the weekend must be especially hard.

Days after promising to fight to regain his Test place from Kent's Geraint Jones, the Nottinghamshire wicket-keeper was told on Saturday that he had also lost his position in England's one-day squad for the NatWest Series.

"I was gutted when David Graveney told me. I'm really disappointed and I wasn't expecting it," Read said. "He said it was a tough choice but that doesn't make it any easier to swallow. His reasoning really was more about Geraint possibly batting higher in the order, but I feel my one-day record's been good for years now, which is why I find it hard to take."

Ironically, Read's last one-day appearance saw him share a match-winning partnership with Paul Collingwood, hitting 23 off 35 balls as England beat West Indies by five wickets in Barbados to square the series. In an earlier England win in Guyana, he blasted 27 from only 15 deliveries, including three sixes.

Surrey's Rikki Clarke and James Kirtley of Sussex have also been dropped but it was Read's omission which raised eyebrows. Graveney said: "The decision is one of the hardest that I've been a party to in nine years as a selector. Ultimately we have had to make a very fine judgement as to what would most benefit the team. Geraint has the ability to bat in a number of positions and this was an important factor."

The selectors have curiously stuck with Yorkshire's Anthony McGrath, who was taken to Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and West Indies last winter but not used. It would be a surprise to see him in the 11 for the opening match against New Zealand at Old Trafford on Thursday week. Kent's Robert Key is recalled despite averaging only 16 in the National League this season. The Lancashire fast bowler Sajid Mahmood, whose presence may provide an opportunity for Steve Harmison to be rested, is named for the first time, joining seamers James Anderson and Darren Gough, who has been retained despite sometimes looking a spent force in the Caribbean.

ENGLAND SQUAD: M P Vaughan (Yorkshire, capt); M E Trescothick (Somerset); A J Strauss (Middlesex); P D Collingwood (Durham); A Flintoff (Lancashire); I D Blackwell (Somerset); A F Giles (Warwickshire); G O Jones (Kent, wkt); R W T Key (Kent); D Gough (Essex); J M Anderson (Lancashire); S J Harmison (Durham); S I Mahmood (Lancashire); A McGrath (Yorkshire).

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