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Gough Given Out is Blow for England  

  Darren Gough's omission from England's one-day squad to tour the sub-continent this winter has proved the biggest talking point and I must feel some sympathy for the Yorkshireman. I would have taken him because not only would he have been useful on the pitch he would have been more than handy off it.  Goughie is a bubbly character and you need such tourists in places like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

He would have been worth the ticket for the entertainment value alone. I can understand the fast bowler's frutsration and disappointment when he points out the he was man-of-the-match in England's last one-day game and now he can't even get in the squad.   I can only think that the selectors are looking to the 2007 World Cup and fear Goughie won't be around by then.

There are no real surprises in the full Test team and I was particularly pleased to see Paul Collingwood given his chance after impressing so much in the one-day game. The biggest battle could come behind the stumps because although I believe Chris Read will have the early advantage, he will have to impress to keep out Garraint Jones. It's great to see Matthew Hoggard back in the squad after knee surgery while Gareth Batty will undoubtedly get his chance because touring sides often use two spinners in the sub-continent.  It's also good that Ricky Clarke has been called up because he could be one for the future. Some people will be feeling sorry for Martin Bicknell after his impressive return to Test cricket after 10 years out, but I was not too surprised by his omission.  In his heart of hearts, I don't think he really expected to be included especially for the sub-continent where you really do need as much pace as you can generate to make an impact.Interesting times though especially after the wonderful display at The Oval. 

I look forward to the winter with excitement and expectation.


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