'No international can be called irrelevant' - Read
Chris Read, England's under-pressure wicketkeeper, insists that England, on the brink of elimination from the ICC Champions Trophy, have the winning urge on the eve of their match against West Indies in Ahmedabad. England have come under heavy criticism after a run of feeble performances but Read, like Andrew Flintoff, has insisted that the side does care about one-day cricket.
"We haven't performed well, so we obviously want to go out and win. No international can be called irrelevant," he told the Guardian. "The whole side are looking to put something in motion because every one-day international is a stepping stone towards the World Cup next year.
"We were a little bit slow on the uptake concerning the wickets here. Everybody was a bit surprised. We were expecting pretty flat wickets and high-scoring games."
With scores of 2 and 0 in Engand's two losses in the tournament - "I don't think I've contributed anything to this tournament really. I haven't scored any runs and have just the one catch to show for myself" - Read was honest about his chances in the upcoming Ashes. "I would like to think I would go to Australia as the No. 1, but every game is a chance to impress and I don't feel established in the side," he admitted. "I think that if I did, it would be quite arrogant or naïve. The next few months will shape my international career.
"Having ended the last Test season in charge of the gloves it's now up to me to score the requisite runs, which has been made very clear to whoever takes the position at No. 7. It's a big run-making position and I will be working hard to fulfill that."
As for the competition from Geraint Jones, whom he replaced, Read was diplomatic. "It's not an easy situation but it's been the case for years in touring sides. You've had [Alan] Knott and [Bob] Taylor, [Jack] Russell and [Alec] Stewart," he said. "The circumstances have chopped and changed a bit, and we do a lot of close work together in practice and the gym. We're pretty close. When it comes to whoever is in possession you've got to support them because you are supporting England."