August 28, 2001

England call-ups react to good news


England's new faces have been reacting to their England call-ups for the Test tours of India and New Zealand.

Yorkshire off-spinner Richard Dawson admitted his surprise at his selection.

"My aim this year was to get into the Yorkshire side, play as many games as possible for Yorkshire and learn as much as I can and now I'm going away with England," 21-year-old Dawson conceded.

"I'm really pleased but I wasn't expecting this, especially after breaking my hand at the start of the season, it hasn't really sunk in yet. "I broke my hand in the first game of the season while I was doing 12th man duties down at Kent in April and it kept me out for nine weeks. It was a big disappointment at the time but it has all turned around now.

"This is my first season, I've only played seven games so I wasn't expecting my call-up."

Jamie Foster, Essex's young wicketkeeper/batsman, is still a university student, and keen complete the final year of his degree. But he was delighted by the news of his inclusion.

"I'm going to try and combine my studies with cricket," Foster, also 21, said. "Durham University have been working on it for about a week in case I got picked.

"I don't know how it's going to work out, but Durham have said they're very keen to work on it and I'm delighted to find out they want to keep me going.

"I'm absolutely delighted at the moment. I can't believe it's happened - this is what everyone trains for, to go on an England tour and play for England."

Foster is expected to compete with Lancashire's Warren Hegg for the wicketkeeping role. Hegg first toured with England on the last Ashes tour in 1998-99, and the two Tests he played seem only to have whetted his appetite for more.

"I've got a second chance because of Alec Stewart's decision and I'm determined I'm going to take it," Hegg declared.

"I don't think I've let England down in the past when I played in Australia although I know I didn't set anything on fire with my runs and I certainly won't let anyone down this time."

Chairman of selectors, David Graveney, revealed that no decision had been made as to who would 'keep in the Tests.

"We see them working together," explained Graveney. "It's certainly not the case that Warren's the senior 'keeper. They are very much starting on a level basis and James is going to Zimbabwe as well so Duncan will have a better perception of his role in India when they get there.

"I think India is as difficult a place to go as anywhere in the world," he continued. "The Indians have played a number of series in the past 18 months and there has been an absence of Tendulkar, Kumble and Srinath in their team and I'd be very surprised if they didn't reappear when England are in India.

"They are a tough side to play against but it will be a great experience for them to play there and I'll be surprised if spin bowling isn't a crucial factor in this tour."