Bollinger adds salt to England’s ICC award ‘snub’ wounds

Sydney: Australian fast bowler Doug Bollinger has started his pre-Ashes mind games by targeting the England team snubbed by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for the player of the year award despite a successful year.

Though England had defeated Australia in last year’s Ashes series, ODI series and the Twenty20 World Cup final, it did not have any representative in the 16-man shortlist for the award.

On the other hand, Bollinger has been rewarded for a stellar year with nominations for Test player of the year, one-day player of the year and the cricketer of the year awards.

“They are confident because they have been winning every game. What team wouldn’t be confident? But I’m not worried,” The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Bollinger, as saying.

“We have just as good players - if not better players than they do,” he added.

The 29-year-old also quashed the idea that skipper Ricky Ponting’s views of a 5-0 whitewash would put the team under unnecessary pressure.

“That is the benchmark we can set ourselves and if we can achieve that it would be brilliant. Winning 5-0, especially at home, you wouldn’t see me for a couple of weeks, that would be awesome,” Bollinger said.

The first of the five Ashes Tests will be held at The Gabba in Brisbane from November 25 to 29.

It will be followed by Tests in Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.

Two Twenty20 clashes and a seven-match one-day series have also been scheduled between Australia and England.