General News | 5th May 2005
Read and Swann in England Development Squad
Although England head coach Duncan Fletcher will be able to withdraw EDS players from domestic cricket at his discretion, it is not expected to lead to a significant reduction in the amount of county cricket played by non-contracted players.
International squads for npower Test Matches, The NatWest Series and The NatWest Challenge will remain at the current size and non-contracted EDS players who are not selected will still be available to play for their counties.
Said Notts? Director of Cricket Mick Newell: ?Having Graeme and Chris called up to the England Development Squad is recognition for what they have achieved in county cricket.
?It shows they are very much in the selectors? minds and puts them one step closer to returning to the Test arena.
?It also enables them to receive quality coaching from Duncan Fletcher and his team while keeping them ?in the know? where England matters are concerned so they are comfortable in the team environment if and when they are called upon.
?I think everybody knows Chris is the best keeper in the country - even Duncan Fletcher - but what is required from him now if he is going to play for England again is regular runs in the county game.
?I?m also not surprised to see Graeme in there. With England going to Pakistan and India this winter they will want to take two spinners and Graeme - alongside Gareth Batty and Ashley Giles - is one of the best in the country.?
Despite speculation that Sussex?s Matt Prior could ease Read out of the two wicketkeeping places, the talented Notts star has claimed a spot alongside Geraint Jones.
He said: ?I?m pleased to be included in the squad and it?s nice to know that I am still regarded as the leading contender for an England place.
?I?m very happy with the way I?ve started the season - with the bat and gloves - and hopefully I can build on that.
?In a way, being named in the squad changes nothing because I already know what has to be done. When I spoke last week with Duncan Fletcher he emphasised that scoring runs was still the most important aspect in terms of getting back into the England team.
?Obviously I have to maintain the high standards of wicketkeeping that I?ve set for myself but I?m confident I can do that.?
Said Chairman of Selectors David Graveney: ?Matt Prior impressed everyone with his commitment and enthusiasm this winter and it was a difficult decision to leave him out. But we felt two wicketkeepers was the maximum we could accommodate in a squad of 25.
?Graeme Swann performed well on the England A tour and is a player with genuine international potential. It?s always good to have competition for places and we see Graeme as someone who can compete with Gareth Batty for the role of supporting Ashley Giles in the spin department.?
Said Swann: ?I?m over the moon about being included. I see it as another important step on the ladder and I have do everything in my power to make it count.
?Although I felt that I had a good tour during the winter, it doesn?t always follow that others see it the same way so it?s nice to know that the people who matter liked what they saw.
?I?m really enjoying the new challenge at Trent Bridge and I?m excited about every game I play.
?The runs are not flowing as I would have wanted at the moment but I?ve got some wickets and I?m feeling good about my game. Long may that it continue that way.?
Graveney said that The Development Squad is a new concept which will enable the England head coach to monitor more closely the development of international players and better prepare them for the demands of the international game.
?As we go forward, we anticipate that the squad will consist of centrally contracted players, certain specialist one-day players and a nucleus of players who can provide cover in specialist positions.?
Fletcher welcomed the idea of a new development squad and explained: ?It will allow me to follow the progress of individuals from an earlier stage of their career and in conjunction with the counties, assign specialist coaches where necessary to help develop their game.
?We will be working very closely with the county coaches in developing this concept.?