Thorpe not forced out of Test reckoning, says Graveney

Thorpe, 35, stated that if Graveney and his fellow selectors had asked the Surrey left-hander to make himself available for the rest of the Ashes series then he would have done so.

This contradicted what he said on Friday when he announced his retirement from international cricket: "I was disappointed, but I accepted the decision. I didn't react to it straight away. I thought about it for a few days."

But yesterday he shed more light on his thought processes in his newspaper column. "When David rang to tell me I had not been picked I [was] convinced my Test career was over."

A stunned Graveney responded: "It came as a great shock to see how it was portrayed in the newspaper. It was not a reflection of the conversations we had. I have known Thorpey a long time, and he has had some difficult times over the last four or five years. So, for it to be portrayed in a paper as it has been is sad, because that is just not the truth. I intend to speak to Graham because the last thing I want to do is cast a shadow over his career and finish not being the best of mates."

Thorpe also claimed: "In the end it was as much what Graveney didn't say as what he did that settled the issue for me. He didn't say: 'You're next in line so please continue to make yourself available.' And he didn't say: 'It's all over.' But as a player you get vibes about what the selectors are thinking. I had to read between the lines and the message I was receiving was that the door was closed."

Graveney was adamant that there was no suggestion that the Test door had been closed on Thorpe.

"Graham has implied that we did not indicate to him that the door was open," the chairman of selectors said.

"But when I first spoke to Graham, to inform him that he had not been selected for the first Test, I told him that we would like to keep the door open until the end of the summer because we were not sure what might happen during this period. But, at the same time, I said that we would respect his decision should he wish to end his Test match career."

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