I was made scapegoat for defeats, says Hoggard

Brian McKenna
Friday 06 December 2002 01:00

Matthew Hoggard feels he has been made to carry the can for England's dismal performances in the Ashes series in Australia. While the Yorkshire fast bowler admits he struggled before being dropped for the third Test, taking one wicket for 248 runs in the first two Test defeats, he believes he was far from the only offender.

"I think all our bowlers have not been as effective as they could be," he said. "We had been annihilated so we needed to do something for Perth and unfortunately one of the sacrifices was me. I didn't produce the goods on wickets that were good to bat on, but all our bowlers are struggling.

"I was very disappointed to lose my place, but it has made me determined to get back in the side."

On top of being dropped from the Test side, Hoggard has been left out of the squad for the upcoming triangular one-day series against Australia and Sri Lanka, with the selectors preferring the untried Worcestershire seamer Kabir Ali.

Duncan Fletcher said Hoggard needed to rediscover his confidence if he was to force his way back into the reckoning. "Hoggard's been left out because his confidence has taken a bit of a knock," the England coach said. "We know what he can bowl like, but we just want him to go away and work at his game over the next two weeks."

England have four one-day matches scheduled this month, before taking a break for the final two Test matches.

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