Matthew Hoggard Disrespected by England Selectors

Steven WhiteAnalyst IJuly 19, 2008

For the second test between England and South Africa at Headingley, the England selectors (in their wisdom) called up Nottinghamshire seam bowler Darren Pattinson to replace the injured Ryan Sidebottom.

Unlike most people in the country, I had seen Darren Pattinson play before. I was at St. Lawrence's in Kent to watch a championship match between Kent and Nottinghamshire back in May, and I was impressed.

He took eight wickets in the match, blowing away the top order in both innings and leading Nottinghamshire to a 10 wicket victory.

He continued to bowl with success, and has so far taken 29 wickets at an average of just 20 this season from his six games. A very impressive record.

But that's all he has, an impressive six-game record.

In his native Australia, he failed to break into the Victoria first XI until he was 28 years old, and even then he was considered nothing more than a middle of the road bowler.

He has no history to go along with this good form in the English game, no proof he can cope under pressure or perform consistently.

He has not earnt a place in the England team. Six games is simply not enough to justify his selection, and this is what annoys me the most.

Matthew Hoggard has played for England for many years, and every single time he has gone out to play he has given everything he has for his country.

Last winter, he was impressive against Sri Lanka until injury forced him out of the team. After returning from his injury to face New Zealand, he did not bowl as well as he normally does.

He had his first bad game for as long as I can remember, but was dropped immediately, replaced by James Anderson, a man who's had more bad games than I've had hot dinners...and cold dinners for that matter.

But he took this disappointment in stride, went back to Yorkshire and has performed well this year, taking 22 wickets at an average of 25.

Injury to Ryan Sidebottom meant a spot was available in the side for the game at Headingley, Hoggard's home ground, but he was ignored.

After so many years of excellent service, and with a lot to offer the team still, I feel he has been treated very unfairly. Of all the bowlers who have disappointed England in recent years he has been the best, but has been given the least number of lives, so to speak

Now, to top it all, it seems the selectors rate a man with 11 games to his name as a better bowler than Hoggard.

Personally, I think it's a disgrace that the selectors have treated him as they have. I am honestly embarrassed to support a team that can treat a player as unjustly as they have Matthew Hoggard.