Shane Lee: So close to a dream Ashes selection (23 Aug 1997)

23 August 1997

So close to a dream Ashes selection

Shane Lee

I CAN'T imagine there are going to be many more weeks like this in my career.

Just being selected to play for Australia in the game against Kent last weekend was an enormous thrill.

And, of course, there was the chance to impress the selectors for the sixth Test.

People were talking about a 'bowl out' between myself and Shaun Young.

But I think he was always in the driving seat as far as Test selection was concerned.

My performance at Canterbury, though, must have posed them a few problems. Everything went really well in the first innings when I mopped up the tail with four wickets in 15 balls.

I was getting the ball to swing away, something I have been working on in the Lancashire League.

I missed my chance with the bat but I thought I bowled even better in the second innings, on a fairly flat track, to pick up another four wickets. It was then just a question of wait and see.

I certainly didn't think I had done my chances any harm but I still wasn't expecting anything.

The team was announced on Wednesday morning and I just missed out. I was very disappointed but, at the same time, pleased that I had been given the chance to impress in the first place.

No-one really gave me any explanation but, then again, the selectors do not have to answer to me!

And it was pleasing to read some complimentary comments about my performance in the newspapers.

I was asked by the tour management to stay down for the Test to help bowl in the nets amongst other things, and those sort of chances don't come along all the time.

So, while I was disappointed to have to miss two crucial games for Enfield this weekend, I really had to stay in London.

It is great just to be associated with this side and the guys are really keen to make it 4-1.

I don't think 3-2 would be a true reflection of the series.

The team spirit is exceptional and we had a brilliant day racing formula three and BMW touring cars at the Nigel Mansell Driving School.

Michael Slater was really into it - he's a bit of a petrol head.

I have never been a big fan of motor sport but that experience was absolutely sensational - the adrenalin rush is amazing.

You have a genuine fear of death and I managed not to kill anyone...just. So I should be back in action for Enfield next weekend.

Oh, and by the way, it was not Shane Warne's top-spinner which bamboozled Adam Hollioake in the first innings.

It was just a stock leg spinner which didn't turn!