Misgivings put aside as Reeve is recalled
Tuesday 20 February 1996
reports from Peshawar
When a crisis looms, England's selectors are almost as guaranteed to make a U-turn over policy as the country's politicians, so Dermot Reeve, the Warwickshire captain, is now flying out to replace Craig White, who pulled a rib muscle during Sunday's World Cup group match against the United Arab Emirates.
Given his virtual non-participation in the one-day series in South Africa, the choice is superficially puzzling. Reeve, soon to be 33, was given only two of the seven games to stake his claim, and anyone who watched England's lamentable performances last month might have wondered why. It was a question Reeve asked too, not unreasonably, though its airing in the media was a foray Raymond Illingworth cared little for, coming from a player, who - unless all the signs in South Africa deceive - he and Atherton do not rate.
Despite the misgivings, Reeve, who has played 27 limited-over internationals, arrives in Islamabad tomorrow, where he will stay before linking up with England on Friday, ready to resurrect an international career which had looked at an end.
Reeve is one of those annoying extroverts who manages to squeeze all the juice from an unremarkable talent. What makes him unusual is that when the tension bites and the adrenalin floods, Reeve is able to keep a cool head and harness its surging power to positive effect.
Four man of the match awards at Lord's are a testament to that, though with only two others coming in 13 years, he is far from the one-day genius depicted by his supporters. "Reeve," as someone once wrote of him, "is not a master of the game. Just a master of the situation."
Despite that, he has never been particularly convincing at international level where his sleight of hand with the ball appears obvious and his gambler's instinct with the bat rarely comes off.
So why did Reeve get a reprieve, particularly when the ruling on whether or not a replacement had to come from the shortlist of 18 - named in early January - has still not been cleared up?
England claim that although names outside the shortlist such as Ronnie Irani, John Stephenson, Adam Hollioake, were discussed it was felt that a straight choice between Reeve and Mike Watkinson was probably the simplest option as it would not only prevent precious time being spent haggling with various World Cup committees, but also remain faithful to the original squad. Nevertheless, the England management's continued inability to find out what constraints exist regarding replacements is inexcusable.
Reeve, whose front and methods would be best suited to cruising the subcontinent's teeming bazaars, may not be so effective on the flat pitches here. These days his bowling lacks surprise, his fielding is weak and his strokeplay is limited, but he can be an effective player of spin bowling, able to play shots few would dare take on.
It may of course work out well for England. They are badly in need of a confidence injection and Reeve's innate bravado may just give them the boost they need.
Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'
Latest in Sport
Liverpool fans applaud Cristiano Ronaldo after master-class for Real Madrid, despite his Manchester United ties
Liverpool vs Real Madrid player ratings: Was Cristiano Ronaldo the star man? And how did Mario Balotelli fare?
Liverpool vs Real Madrid match report: Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema run Reds ragged at Anfield
Diego Costa injury: Chelsea striker forced into hospital ahead of Manchester United clash - reports
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was shirt swapping the real reason?
- 1 Marijuana use by teenagers does not result in a lower IQ or worse exam results, study finds
- 2 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 3 Jimmy Carr's controversial Oscar Pistorius joke goes too far at the Q Awards
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 NHS staff banned from drinking tea or coffee on the job because it looks like they're not working hard enough
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
£300 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: SSRS Report Developer – 3 Mon...
£95 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Key Stage 1 teacher require...
£32000 - £39000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Man...
£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel like your sales role...