Lever plays down rift

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The Independent Online
Peter Lever yesterday denied suggestions of a rift within the England cricket camp after his resignation as bowling coach.

Lever, handpicked by Ray Illingworth, the chairman of selectors, in May last year to help improve technique in the Test squad, quit his post on Tuesday amid allegations he was in conflict with methods of motivation of the coach, David Lloyd.

Lloyd has brought patriotic music and slogans into the dressing-room since being appointed at the start of the summer. This is believed to be at odds with Lever's traditional approach. "I have no axe to grind at all with David Lloyd. We have known each other for a long time and that is not the reason for me leaving. I have a business partnership with my son and I have been spending a lot of time away. Though I enjoy the cricket, I must go back to the business and concentrate on that.

"I was in the dressing-room during the last Test and they played the 'Winston Churchill Tapes'. I realised I was the only one who heard them live during the war, so I thought it was time to move on."

Lever, who will leave after the end of the final Test against Pakistan at The Oval on 26 August, insisted the difference in approach between the two former Lancashire team-mates had not affected the England team. "Every person has different methods but it does not mean we disagree with everything. It's important the basics are the same and I think it is with David Lloyd and myself."