World Cup 2006-07 February 28, 2007

Gough renews feud with Graveney

Cricinfo staff

Darren Gough: still disappointed to be missing the World Cup © Getty Images
Despite his delight at being named as Yorkshire's new captain, Darren Gough could not resist renewing his feud with David Graveney, England's chairman of selectors, over the manner in which he was omitted from his country's World Cup plans.

Last month, Graveney was forced to apologise to Gough after he learned of his omission from the 15-man squad via text message, despite some indication only days earlier that England had sought permission from the ICC to look outside their provisional list of 30 players - ostensibly to bring Gough, 36, back into the fold for one last hurrah.

"What I said at the time was not right," Graveney was quoted as saying earlier this month. "Particularly with Darren's years of service for England I should have dealt with it in a far better way. Things have been portrayed in a slightly insulting way to Darren, which I regret; he is very professional and does a lot of work in order to keep himself fit."

But at Headingley today, Gough dismissed Graveney's apology as "totally false" and gave his account of what went on behind the scenes in Australia, where Gough had been taking part in a veteran's beach cricket competition.

"The selectors were in touch with me, that's common knowledge," said Gough. "I got a phone call saying that they had asked to go outside the squad of 30, and that I was that player they'd asked about.

"I spoke to the chairman of selectors and he said that I was 'just about there' for the World Cup. He said there was a chance. But cricket's a funny game, and four wins later, everyone's a world-beater and that hides what's really going on.

"I didn't get selected, but the chin's up," Gough added. "Good luck to England, they are in the World Cup. I played in a few myself and they've got a good chance, particularly on the batting side."