New Zealand news July 4, 2011

James Franklin bitter over axing

ESPNcricinfo staff

James Franklin, the New Zealand allrounder, is shocked at missing out on a central contract after what he felt was a strong summer in the national side. Franklin, 30, was last week left out of the 20-man contract list for the second year in a row, and he said he was disappointed after playing all three formats for New Zealand over the past six months.

"I can't change what they have done," Franklin told the Dominion Post. "This is a tough one. Last year I was half expecting it, but this one has come out of the blue and I'm a bit bitter. In my last 14 one-day innings I've averaged 54, but they've made their decision. To miss out entirely on a Test ranking is a hard one for me to fathom. I feel I have a huge amount to offer in the longer form of the game."

The national selection manager, Mark Greatbatch, said Franklin was unlucky to miss out, and while his best performances were excellent, he did not display the sort of consistency New Zealand wanted. Franklin conceded he didn't have impact he would have liked at the World Cup, coming on the back of an outstanding series against India in December.

"If I pinpoint anything I didn't do, which I wanted to do, it was my World Cup performances," Franklin said. "But there were a couple of early games when I didn't get a bat or bowl so I suddenly felt I had no form. Because it was a World Cup, it got microscoped a fair bit and that seemed to be the last point of memory in terms of sorting out contracts."

One of the factors highlighted by Greatbatch was Franklin's disappointing bowling in recent times. Although he began his international career as a bowler who could bat, Franklin has become more of a batting allrounder and he believes that is an area that he needs to work on.

"There is stuff to tidy up in my bowling - there is no two ways in that," he said. "My stats say I'm a good first-class bowler but that hasn't always been the case at the next level. I need to get the venom back I had four to five years ago when I was in the mid to high 130s."

He also said his passive exterior - he is not the kind of bowler who shows serious aggression towards a batsman - should not be held against him. "People have been going on about that for years," he said. "I remember one of the selectors saying that years ago. I am what I am. I'm not a 21-year-old, I'm 30, I've played a bit now.

"There are things to tidy up in my game but the cop-out of being angry and all that stuff is not who I am. I like to win and do well but getting in someone's face and showing anger is a cop-out. I don't need to do that - that is not me."

Last year, Franklin considered using his Irish passport to become a local player in county cricket, but the lure of playing in a World Cup stopped him from taking that path. Again this year he is reluctant to turn his back on New Zealand while hopes of an international comeback remain.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jonathan on July 7, 2011, 12:55 GMT

    Franklin is more consistent than Oram these days. Jimmy's always been a favourite and yes he is inconsistent, but come on, who in the Caps other than DLV and Chris Martin isn't?

  • Dummy4 on July 6, 2011, 8:47 GMT

    South Africa Is Coming To Test New Zealand In New Zealand Cricket Season,These Selector Should Not Do Too Much Experiment With The Team,If They Want To Outperform South Africa.

  • Dummy4 on July 5, 2011, 11:11 GMT

    these days i would take franklin over oram .. and with styris retiring there was probably a case for a senior guy like franklin in the middle order ..

  • Dummy4 on July 5, 2011, 4:35 GMT

    Why is the selectors expecting a batsman to bowl and a bowler to bat, then they should pick 10 all rounders for a match with a keeper. Franklin by far the best NZ batsman in the current NZ team. Taylor isn't in good form. Brendon had a poor WC. So Franklin should be playing.

  • Tony on July 4, 2011, 21:01 GMT

    Greatbatch at best was an average player himself,now he is telling people they are not good . To support that argument, consider statement of Imran Khan, the 92 world cup winner. When asked about his game against Kiwis, he said "New Zea land had a very good batsman in Martin Crowe but no one else was any good". This includes Greatbatch who was on his purple patch during the cup, so sir, please stop kicking out good players for nothing. James should be included in all formats as he has proven himself to be good.

  • Andrew on July 4, 2011, 21:01 GMT

    Come on Greatbatch, seriously?!?!?! Luke Woodcock is deserving of a contract over James Franklin? How many games is Woodcock going to play ahead of Nathan McCullum in limited overs cricket? What a joke! We all know that Franklin has flattered to deceive many times over his career - he used to have pace and swing and now is really no better than a third or fourth change bowler, but his batting has loads of potential. Just look back at the games he played prior to the World Cup for the evidence. If he's missed out on the basis of his World Cup form then Brendon McCullum must be on his way to the local Lotto shop - take out the 177 runs he scored against Zimbabwe and Canada and his record was 79 runs in six knocks

  • Ryan on July 4, 2011, 20:00 GMT

    Why does he have to bowl? He obviously is not interested in bowling so why not let him play as a batsman? Have his performances in India last year already been forgotten?

  • Peter on July 4, 2011, 19:46 GMT

    I really feel for James Franklin. he is the one selection(non selection) I beleive the selectors have made a mistake with.

    He should be playing, especially in the longer format. For a guy of his talent he should be perservered with. He has only played ONE test in recent times and yet it is the tests we do so poorly at. Perhaps if he played more often we wouldn't be bundled out for 220 every innings.

    Wrong call with this one NZ selectors.. Let James back in, and KEEP him there, he is a quality player.

    This one really frustrates me.

  • Dummy4 on July 4, 2011, 18:34 GMT

    Think its time to move on. This guy has all the potential to be a match winner. Think he should serously think about playing in the county cricket.

  • Thiwanka on July 4, 2011, 17:12 GMT

    Yes ! He shud improve his bowling but his batting has came gud recentley. when we concern about new zealand he shud be in da contract list without a doubt. poor selectors.

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