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Thursday, 13 January, 2000, 15:44 GMT
Ask Aggers Cricket Forum

BBC Cricket Correspondent Jonathan Agnew answers your questions concerning England's tour of South Africa.

Steve Worswick, England
Q: Isn't it time we started playing more Tests against less talented countries rather than keep playing the best teams in the world?

A: There are only nine Test-playing countries. Also the TV companies might not offer a total of 100m for the rights to show England vs Bermuda or Norway!!

Steve P, UK
Q: Do you think England should do what the Aussies did in the late 80s and take "time out" from international competition for a couple of years to rethink their whole strategy? Look where Australia are now.

A: The first problem to be addressed is to convince the players that they are not the world-beaters they think they are. I would also bring in performance-related pay.

Ian Saunders, England
Q: In the light of the series so far, how do you see the England team lining up for the first Test against the West Indies?

A:Without Butcher, Adams, Hamilton, Tufnell and with Vaughan, Mullally, Gough and Flintoff.

Mark, UK
Q: Would you agree that what really separates England from a good run of wins is the possession of a world class bowler?

A: Not really. Caddick has emerged as a world class bowler on this tour. It's the batting that consistently lets England down.

Duncan Keeling, UK
Q: Why do we keep picking the same old players? Maybe we should try a few of the England A Team. They seem to be a little more used to winning.

A: Agreed! But they need to be protected from the current county system and be encouraged to work harder.

Graham Holden, England
Q: Who would you think now deserves to be in the first batch of England contracts handed out by the ECB?

A: Caddick, Hussain, Mullally. That's it. The rest should play as much cricket as possible.

Gareth Flannery, Ireland
Q: How can Australia and South Africa introduce new players who take to Test cricket like ducks to water while England's new boys struggle? I am thinking of players like Brett Lee and Mark Boucher when he first started.

A: Because they come into winning teams and there is much less pressure on them.

Jonathan L, Copenhagen
Q: Should cricket concentrate more on the one day game, because let's be honest that's the commercial future of the game?

A: England should play more one day cricket - this was illustrated by our performance in the world cup. But test cricket is what everyone talks about and it's still head and shoulders above the one day game for me.

David Lund, Indonesia
Q: After four Tests, none of the new batsmen chosen for the tour had scored a 50. Do England stick with them or again look for new faces?

A: I was particularly disappointed at Cape Town where the stage was set for Vaughan, Adams and Flintoff to stand up and make their mark. Vaughan is the best of the bunch and I would like to see him opening in future.

Selina, Australia
Q: Could it be that England needs to look at the level below international cricket and foster growth among county and club sides as the Australian Cricket Board has done? Australia can now field two world-class cricket teams as the success of Australia A has shown. Such a wealth of talent across the country can only make your top side more competitive and therefore more successful.

A:Our county system is out of date, sadly. If we were to start from scratch, it would be along the Aussie lines. But it would take a total upheaval for that to happen. I want to see regional teams picked to play against each other. That would be much more competitive.

Andrew Losowsky, UK
Q:Being outclassed is one thing, but the indiscipline the England team have shown, especially when batting, is quite another. Who should shoulder the blame for this and how can it be rectified?

A:I absolutely agree. Cape Town was a disgrace and it was three of the most experienced players - Atherton, Butcher and especially Stewart who were to blame. As for how you rectify it, I've been asking that for years! Drop them, I guess.

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See also:

11 Jan 00 | England on Tour
White to replace Flintoff
07 Jan 00 | England on Tour
Hamilton set for Test squad
06 Jan 00 | England on Tour
Gooch fires county warning
07 Jan 00 | England on Tour
England's rising star
06 Jan 00 | England on Tour
Strydom called up for Centurion
06 Jan 00 | England on Tour
Time may prove the only blessing
05 Jan 00 | England on Tour
England crash to series defeat
05 Jan 00 | England on Tour
Hussain: We're in it for the long-term
03 Jan 00 | England on Tour
Injured Flintoff sent home
Links to other England on Tour stories are at the foot of the page.