Barsby blasts selectors over Hopes omission
Trevor Barsby, the Queensland coach, has slammed Australia's selectors for their treatment of the allrounder James Hopes, who has been left out of next week's one-day series against Sri Lanka. A 15-man squad was chosen but surprisingly there was no room for Hopes, who has not missed any of Australia's past 15 ODIs but will instead line up for the Bulls.
This year has also been one of Hopes' best on the international scene; he has won two Man-of-the-Match awards since February, having never claimed that honour in his first 71 one-day internationals. Despite his record, Hopes has reportedly been told by the selectors they are looking to take only two allrounders, Shane Watson and Steven Smith, to next year's World Cup.
"I'm not sure what is going on," Barsby said on Wednesday. "I hope this decision just means they wanted to give James some [domestic] cricket after the Indian series. I would be disgusted if, after having done everything that has been asked of him in the Australian side - whether that be opening the batting, opening the bowling, closing out the innings at No. 6 or 7 or bowling at the death - that they would even think of discarding him like this.
"It's not the sort of treatment you expect of a player who does whatever job was asked of him, and does it by executing his skill to the very best of his ability. You won't hear the bloke himself complain, that's not his way. He just gets on with things and puts the team first. But I can say without a shadow of doubt that he remains one of the best players in the country in the limited-overs arena and hopefully the selectors continue to acknowledge that."
Hopes has played 84 ODIs since his debut in 2005 and has a decent collection of 1326 runs at 25.01 and 67 wickets at 35.58, but he is often the first man dropped if the selectors want a different balance. At 32, next year will probably be his final chance to play in a World Cup after he was overlooked in 2007.