New Zealand news December 17, 2008

Oram hits back at McMillan criticism

Cricinfo staff


Jacob Oram: "I understand people who have never bowled a ball in anger in their lives having a bit of a go at me for potentially being on the soft side, but it's disappointing to come from an ex-teammate" © AFP
 

Jacob Oram, the injury-prone New Zealand allrounder, has hit back at comments made by Craig McMillan that he too readily pulled out of games with injuries.

McMillan, who retired from international cricket last year and is a former team-mate of Oram's, criticised his absence from the ongoing Test series against West Indies, after Oram was ruled out of the second match with a calf strain, meaning that he has missed the two-Test series.

McMillan had suggested that Oram had been "wrapped in cotton wool" by both the previous and current coaching regimes. "You've always got sore calfs, hammys [hamstrings] but you just get on and do it," McMillan told Radio Sport. "Unfortunately with Jake's [Oram's] track record, he has missed some games that maybe he could have got through."

Oram, who has now sat out five consecutive Tests through injury, having last played in the first Test against Bangladesh in Chittagong, said he did not expect to hear such comments from a former team-mate.

"I understand people who have never bowled a ball in anger in their lives having a bit of a go at me for potentially being on the soft side, but it's disappointing to come from an ex-teammate," he said. "He knows the rigours and the stresses of international cricket and it's a bit rich saying if it's 50-50, I don't play."

Oram said he had played matches with broken fingers in the past, but he could understand the frustration of fans over his frequent injury absences. "If they're annoyed, I'm a hundred times worse," he said.

The allrounder had previously sustained a back injury during the Test series away to Bangladesh in October, that ruled him out of the second and final match, as well as the tour of Australia that followed. He then fractured a finger while turning out for Central Districts in the State Championship in the last week of November.

New Zealand coach Andy Moles however, said he expected Oram to return to the side for the two Twenty20 internationals and five ODIs against the West Indies following the second and final Test in Napier starting Friday.