England news August 8, 2008

Giles in the spotlight for potential conflict of interest

Cricinfo staff

Ashley Giles remains adamant that his role as England selector, and his job with Warwickshire, can dovetail happily © Getty Images

The chairman of Gloucestershire, John Light, has lodged an official complaint with the ECB over Ashley Giles's dual role as England selector and Warwickshire's director of cricket.

Light's complaint surrounds Warwickshire's approach for Alex Gidman and Steve Kirby, which he described as "a hand grenade in our dressing room". Both players chose to stay at Gloucestershire, but Light has nevertheless filed a complaint against Giles who, he claims, has a "conflict of interest".

"Warwickshire quite properly bid for two of our players," Light told the Birmingham Post. "For us smaller clubs, retaining players can be a problem and I feel that Ashley Giles' dual role gives him an extra advantage. There is no question of Ashley behaving improperly. He's a splendid fellow and Warwickshire have acted totally above board.

"The thing is, when 'Grav' [David Graveney] was a selector, we asked him to become involved with Gloucestershire, but he declined because he thought he must remain neutral. I wrote to Hugh Morris at the start of last week and also raised the matter with [national selector] Geoff Miller and at the chairmen's meeting. I cannot put words in others' mouths, but I think it is fair to say it was accepted that I have a reasonable point."

Giles, however, remains adamant that the two roles can work in harmony - despite rumours of discontent rumbling around the county circuit over the aggressive approaches made by Warwickshire for high-profile players.

"As far as I am concerned it is far from a conflict of interests," Giles said. "All I am doing is working to make England cricket better. I have never said to a player that if they came to Warwickshire they would have a better chance of playing for England."