This can not be a positive for England:
A MAJOR internal rift is brewing in the England camp following the revelation that coach Duncan Fletcher has been wrongly blamed for snubbing spin bowling cult hero Monty Panesar.
Fletcher is privately fuming at being held accountable for omitting Panesar from the Adelaide Test, a match where England’s No.1 spinner Ashley Giles took just 2-149 to leave his career hanging by a thread.
The Courier-Mail has learned that at team selection meetings in Adelaide, Fletcher leaned toward Panesar to play in the Test but captain Andrew Flintoff went for his Lancashire teammate, swing bowler Jimmy Anderson, who went on to perform poorly and may not play another Test on tour.
Flintoff won out after the issue was discussed by a committee of senior players including Geraint Jones and Andrew Strauss.
The fallout over the omission of Panesar has become so great in England that it is threatening to undermine Fletcher’s future as England coach and also drive a wedge between Fletcher and Flintoff.
It is remarkable England performed as well as they did in the Second Test given this dispute, and it is hard to imagine what the mood is like in the English camp now. These relevations make things work; the British media will be on to them like a pack of dogs on a three legged cat.