England v South Africa, 2nd npower Test, Headingley, 2nd day July 19, 2008

Hoggard fears for England future

Cricinfo staff


Matthew Hoggard: could his England career be over? © Getty Images
 

Matthew Hoggard has been forced to accept that his England career could be over after Darren Pattinson got the Test nod ahead of him on Hoggard's home ground of Headingley. Sidebottom had originally come in to cover for Hoggard and has held on to his place ever since, with Hoggard playing alongside him at times, but when Sidebottom was forced out with a back injury, it was Pattinson - a little-known Australia-raised bowler with 11 first-class games under his belt - who got the call.

Hoggard had been left out in New Zealand six Tests ago while England continued to choose an unchanged side since then. He was called into the 12 for the first Test against New Zealand at Lord's but now Pattinson - called up after only 11 first-class matches in England - has leapfrogged him, the second Test against South Africa could prove the nail in the coffin for Hoggard.

"It would have been lovely to have played at Headingley," Hoggard told BBC's Test Match Special. "I am bowling better and better - I am not bowling a bag of spanners. But I am thinking at the moment that, yes, it is over and looking forward to seeing what I am doing in the future. My whole career is a high point really. Even the low points when you are kicking the dirt you still look back and think 'It is me in an England shirt'."

Geoff Miller, the ECB's head of selectors, said of Pattinson: "What we've seen of him is ideal for these conditions and other conditions elsewhere. Pattinson's bowled really well: he's outbowled the others. The message to those guys is that we've watched them play too and will continue to do so."

Hoggard was dropped after the Hamilton Test against New Zealand in March following a poor match that yielded one wicket. Likewise, Steve Harmison was left out by England and hasn't played since, though has shown encouraging form for Durham this season. Harmison, though, is concerned what signal the selection of Pattinson sends to the up-and-coming bowlers in the England ranks.

"The amount of money the ECB have pushed into young bowlers, taking them to Chennai and the Academy - are we saying the young bowlers aren't good enough?," Harmison said. "I haven't seen him [Pattinson] bowl - I was asleep when we played them. But good luck to him, he has taken his chance. If he deserves it I'm not sure, but good luck to him."

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