Boycott calls for new faces in England team

London: Former England captain Geoffrey Boycott on Friday welcomed the decision of appointing separate captains for the national side in different forms of the game and wanted the selectors to infuse some fresh blood keeping in mind the 2015 World Cup in Australia.

The English and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Thursday appointed Alastair Cook as the one-day captain while fast bowler Stuart Broad was `surprisingly` chosen to lead the T20 side and Andrew Strauss was retained as the Test captain.

Boycott said that team director Andy Flower and selectors must be strong in dropping some of the `older guys` to make way for a young lot.

"They have been strong enough to make a good first move with their captaincy appointments but now they have got to have the balls to take the next step and start including some new faces in the one-day and Twenty20 teams," Boycott wrote in his column in The Daily Telegraph.

"Andy Flower and the selectors must not waste this opportunity to be strong, brave and far sighted by telling some of the older guys, `sorry we are moving on`.

"I wrote after the World Cup that players such as Matt Prior, James Anderson, Kevin Pietersen and Strauss would not be around in four years` time so we had to phase them out of the one-day team. It is not personal. It is about making Flower and the selectors fulfil their job descriptions and make cricket judgments.

"The next World Cup is nearer than you think. Four years sounds a long time but we only have so many matches in that period and the new players have to have time to succeed and find their feet, fail and pick themselves up so by the time the youngsters get to Australia they are battle hardened."

Boycott raised questions on Cook`s appointment while describing Broad`s promotion as a `surprise`.

"Alastair Cook as the 50-over captain is an incongruous decision. He has been earmarked for some time but people will ask the question that if the selectors did not believe he was good enough to get into our World Cup side in India, how is he the right man to open the innings and captain now?

"Alastair has never been convincing as an opener in international one-day matches. Yes, he does play for Essex in their one-day team and does quite well, but just remember international bowling is much better and more penetrating."

On Broad, he wrote: "Stuart Broad as Twenty20 captain is a surprise. I think it is sensible that we move on from Paul Collingwood as Twenty20 is a youthful game which needs young, fit guys to throw themselves around, but I don`t think any of us saw Broad as being the next captain."

Bureau Report

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