What a rise it has been. Some questioned his inclusion, moaning that the likes of Kerrigan and Parry should have been in the squad instead (yes, they were Lancs fans). But when, amongst your list of victims you include Bopara, Goodwin, van Jaarsveld, Chanderpaul, Cook and Trescothick, then you are likely to be noticed. Danny Briggs has had a barnstorming year, leading English wicket taker in the 20/20 with 31, he even came into his own in the Championship, turning into a genuine spin threat.
Effectively 4th in line to the spin throne, it's just amazing even now, to see his name especially, amongst the lists for touring parties to Aus. That's certainly not to say he hasn't deserved it. Completely the opposite. Nic Pothas said in the latest issue of SPIN that some Hampshire players' faces didn't seem to fit with the England set up. Two of those mentioned have made it into the performance squad, justifiably. To have both openers score over 1300 runs for the season is brilliant. To have both of them English is even better and for one to be born in this county is the icing on the cake.
I expected Carberry to go to Australia in some playing capacity. I also half expected, half blindly hoped that Adams would be on the same plane, so overall it was a very pleasing squad announcement. To see none of, in my view the three best batsmen of 2010 (Adams, Hildreth, Lyth) involved with the main squad, whilst Bell waltzes back into the group of 16, has done little to repair my views on ECB selection.
But that should not detract from the marvellous achievements of these three Hampshire players, who have absolutely destroyed the selectors' door using Cosgrove as a battering ram. They richly deserve their chance, and some.
It will be okay
3 weeks ago