Hollioake would have refused captaincy

Adam Hollioake, who was one of the leading candidates for the England cricket captaincy when it was thought that Michael Atherton might step down this summer, has revealed that he would not have taken the job had it been offered to him.

In an exclusive interview with the Independent on Sunday, the Surrey captain also says that if, as is widely predicted, he is asked to captain an England one-day squad in Sharjah before Christmas he is by no means certain to accept.

"If I'd have been offered the Test captaincy, I wouldn't have taken it, wouldn't even have considered it," the 26-year-old all-rounder said.

"I wouldn't be able to look other players in the face, to go out there telling them what to do when I've not done it myself. How could I do that? I'm not that sort of person. Obviously, it would have been good financially and guaranteed me a place in the side, but that's not what I'm about.

"If I never play Test cricket again, it won't be through lack of trying, it will be because I'm not good enough. I can handle that. What I couldn't handle is playing 20 Tests when I didn't deserve to. All I want in life is to go out there, to try my hardest and get what I deserve. I don't want any more than that."

Hollioake was one of several players reported to be in the running for the England position when Atherton was thought to be close to resigning after losing the Ashes series to Australia. Atherton has since been appointed to lead the Test team in the Caribbean, but not for the one-day series in Sharjah, or the one-day internationals against the West Indies which will follow the Tests. Whoever leads the side in those is expected to take charge of the one-day campaign through to the 1999 World Cup, which will be held in this country.

Hollioake, the favourite for the job, says acceptance would not be automatic. "I'd have to sit down and think about it," he said. "There are so many things going on in my life, you wouldn't believe and I'm not the sort of bloke who can think of five things at once. I'm trying to take one thing at a time. Now I'm thinking no further ahead than my next innings."

Full interview, page 20

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