Earlier today, England named their 30-man provisional squad for the ICC World Twenty20. For once, it seems, the selectors have paid some attention to the nature of the format.
There are several interesting inclusions. The sight of Trescothick’s name, for one, will bring some relief to many, although there must be huge doubts over his progression to the final 15. Similarly, there are finally places for those players who have played the most Twenty20 domestically, and have proven themselves capable. After the series of washouts this year, it would have been hard to pick those necessarily most in form, but David Graveney et al seem to have elected for those players that have deployed themselves well over the past couple of seasons. Sir Viv Richard’s call for Darren Maddy, now captain of Warwickshire, has been answered, although there is no place for Nayan Doshi or Samit Patel. Among other ‘specialists’ included are new Essex captain, Mark Pettini, Surrey’s one-year contracted Chris Schofield and the man of the moon ball, Jeremy Snape.
Is it all for show? There are significant figures gone from the World Cup squad: Strauss, Vaughan, Joyce, Mahmood and Dalrymple all miss out. However, there is no real sign that England intend to keep these welcome additions in their final 15. The entire one-day squad that faced the West Indies have been included, although it must be admitted that one incumbant, Stuart Broad, was the most economical seamer in last year’s domestic competition. It can only be hoped that in slimming down the squad in August, the selectors do not show this initial attempt to be a pointless exercise in media quelling.