England news October 1, 2008

I was the wrong selection - Pattinson

Cricinfo staff
  shares


Uncomfortable smiles: Darren Pattinson celebrates one of his Test wickets, but it wasn't an easy experience for him © Getty Images
 
Darren Pattinson has said he disagreed with his surprise selection for the second Test against South Africa at Headingley. To the astonishment of almost everybody he was called up at the last minute to replace the injured Ryan Sidebottom, after 11 first-class matches, but was promptly dropped and hasn't even been named in England's Performance Squad for the winter.

"I don't think I'd be picking someone to play the one Test when they haven't really played that many first-class games and weren't in the squad," Pattinson told The Age. "It was a left-field selection. If I was in [the selectors'] situation, I wouldn't have picked me to play for England when there were guys like Steve Harmison - who I know has had his problems - waiting in the wings and ready to go. It's really an astonishing story, when you think about it."

Pattinson didn't disgrace himself on the field, claiming the scalps of Hashim Amla and Ashwell Prince, as England were hammered by 10 wickets. A few weeks later he played for England Lions as South Africa warmed-up for the one-day series, but now he is preparing for pre-season with his club, Dandenong, and Victoria before resuming the Sheffield Shield.

"If I never played another international, I'd be OK with that," he added. "As far as the England players were concerned, they were nice and very welcoming. I guess [Michael] Vaughan was coming to the end of his captaincy at the time, so there might have been a few issues there. I didn't get all the stuff he said, but I take it, it was mostly to do with the selection."

Pattinson came within one win of finishing the season with a Championship medal, but Nottinghamshire were beaten by Hampshire in the final game. However, Pattinson ended with a very respectable 47 wickets at 24.65 even though he was carrying a groin injury by the final weeks of the summer. But he still hasn't quite come to terms with his England experience.

"The whole England thing was unexpected and I was certainly more than happy to get the opportunity to play international cricket," he said. "But with all the stuff that came with it, it's hard to say just how I view the whole experience right now. I'm sure I'll look back in a few years and be happy I played a Test, but there are a few mixed feelings at the moment."