After their disaster at Lord’s, England have announced a global search for a new number 3.
Speaking at the launch, England’s Director of Cricket Andrew Strauss explained their rationale.
“Unfortunately, Gary Ballance just isn’t working out for us as we would have liked.
His inability to make runs against decent attacks or even Mitch Marsh is making it harder for guys further down the order like Ian Bell.
I mean, if Bell is going to continue to deliver scores like 1 or 2, we need our number 3 to at least get to 30.
That’s what Ed Cowan would have done.”
Strauss continued to clarify the ECB’s stance.
“We have tried pretty much everyone at first drop.
There was Bell. He wasn’t any good at it so we moved him to 4.
There was KP. He whistles in team meetings, so proved not to be suitable.
We probably tried Root there. I can’t recall.
Trott wanted to end his career as an opener. That didn’t work.
Now there’s Gary Ballance. On his immigration papers, he told us he was a batsman. Clearly that was a lie.”
English coach Trevor Bayliss said that the search would be full and thorough.
“Let’s be honest.
England have struggled to grow its own number 3’s. In fact, our locally grown batsmen are probably more reflective of number 2’s after a heavy night on the grog.
For that reason, the search will be open to all of England and also Wales. Apparently the ECB represents them too. Who knew?
South African’s are encouraged to apply. Johannesburg is in England you know. Those from Christchurch should apply too. That’s also in England.
Someone told me Mumbai isn’t in England but New Delhi is. I’ll need to check that.
Lahore is Welsh. So that works in our favour.
We probably don’t want anyone from Zimbabwe. We haven’t got a good one from there since Graeme Hick.”
When asked if England would consider Queensland born Shane Watson, Bayliss was unequivocal.
“Well, Queensland is clearly in England.
But No. We have standards”
New African Zealander Grant Elliot said that he would be putting his hand up.
“I’d love to bat at number 3 for the English.
I’ve played in more World Cup finals than all of the current players combined.
I also have facial hair to keep me warm during those 8 degree summer days.
All of these things must throw me into strong contention.
However, my ability to actually make runs when it counts may be seen as a weakness.”
AB de Villers was less than convinced about the opportunity.
“Yes, I’ve had an approach from Strauss.
However, he couldn’t guarantee that I wouldn’t have to be interviewed by Shane Warne after every game.
That’s not ideal.
Also, I like to play for teams that win stuff.”
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