England opener Michael Carberry is disgruntled with the way England’s hierarchy have treated him and some of the other players post the Ashes debacle in Australia last year.
Carberry made 284 runs in the 5 Tests at an average of 28.10 which made him England’s second highest scorer in the series only behind the now ousted Kevin Pietersen. Despite that and good performances in limited overs cricket in the last year, Carberry has found himself out of the England ODI and Twenty20 World Cup squad.
Speaking of his omission from the shorter formats, Carberry said: “The absence gave me time to reflect and get that anger out. Now I want to come back with Hampshire. They’re my focus.”
Carberry did not mince any words though while talking of the reason behind him being ignored for the shorter formats.
“I’m sitting here disappointed I’m not involved in the one-day setup. I seem to have been left out for some unknown reason. I don’t think it’s a cricket reason because my one-day stats speak for themselves over the last few seasons. So I’m disappointed the selectors haven’t fronted up and spoken to me,” he said.
Carberry was one of the brighter spots of the Ashes in an otherwise dark tour for the English. The left-hander got off to starts almost everytime and registered six 30+ scores. Carberry displayed a solid technique and temperament against some hostile fast bowling by the likes of Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris.
Carberry though realises that the long time he batted in the Ashes meant little as he could not make big scores to help the team. When asked about facing 695 balls in the series, Carberry said: “I wish they had been runs.”
The 33-year old was looking to see out the danger for most of the series but was at his most fluent in his last innings at Sydney.
“Something clicked. Maybe through the series I played to the situation. Obviously if we lost Alastair early or we were two down, and you’re 500 runs behind, you think: ‘Let’s try and weather the storm.’
“I’ve come back to Hampshire and I’m excited about the next phase of my career, knowing what I need to do to dominate. I know that, technically, I’m good enough to survive. But survival is not batting. You’re there to score runs.”
Carberry seems to be hurt mostly by the fact that the England team management have not given him an explanation for his omission. The opener has gone on to said that he hasn’t spoken to anyone from the management ever since he returned from Australia.
When asked if he had received a call from anyone in the England management, Carberry said: “No. Nothing – which is disappointing. But it’s the way they tend to do things.”
“It’s obvious that since the tour ended some very, very strange decisions have been made. But even in Australia [during the limited-over series when England were beaten in eight out of nine matches] I sat there game after game, watching us lose, thinking: ‘What more can I do to get in the squad?’ – bearing in mind that I was without doubt the leading batsman in one-day cricket last year.
“I think my last score playing for England in ODI cricket was 63 in winning a game in Cardiff we shouldn’t have won against Australia [Carberry followed up that knock with another 30 against the same opposition]. To suddenly be on the sidelines, not getting a game, just didn’t make any sense.”
Carberry has also gone on to state that the then England coach Ashley Giles too did not have a reason for Carberry’s omission.
“I had a brief chat with Ashley Giles during the fifth ODI in Adelaide and his response was that he didn’t really know. If you don’t know, mate, I sure as hell won’t know.”
“It’s that age-old word: man-management. I’ve accepted over my short and breezy England career that that’s the way the selectors tend to do things. I wouldn’t say I’ve been in the loop when it comes to why I’ve been left out. I’ve had to try and work it out for myself which, again, is disappointing.”
Carberry went on to say that England needed a change in their approach of handling the players and made it clear that he would rather be told things straightforward.
“At the age I am, I need straight answers. To be told I’m on the radar or being talked about? All these lip-service cliches don’t interest me any more,” Carberry said.
He also said that it was a sentiment shared by many people within the English squad.
“I don’t think it’s me alone saying this sort of thing. There’ve been players before me and current players now who have felt the same thing. It’s fine when you’re in the team but just outside the playing squad you’re not really sure if you fit in at all.”
Carberry also backed the out of favour Kevin Pietersen by saying that the decision to keep him out of the side came as a huge surprise to him as Pietersen was always nothing but helpful to him.
“I’d have to say so. Yeah. It was a big surprise because I don’t think anyone saw that coming. Through the tour, certainly, Kev was very helpful to me. Over the years Kev, as one of the greats of the game, has always been very helpful in talking about the mental side. In England’s position you want to retain that knowledge as much as you can. You hope he will still be around the county game for the benefit of the next generation.”
At the age of 33, Carberry does not have the time to make too many international comebacks. The Hampshire man acknowledges that and hopes that he can play some of his best cricket in the next few years.
“I’ve played some of my best cricket over the last few years. So I’m looking at the next five years. Hopefully I can finish with a pretty good career that people can look back on and say: ‘Well, OK, he may not have had a lot of opportunities at international level but I certainly enjoyed watching him play.’”Published 01 Apr 2014, 17:46 IST