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Last Updated: Monday, 18 December 2006, 10:53 GMT
Boycott voices whitewash concern
Andrew Flintoff and his team reflect on defeat in Perth
Andrew Flintoff and his team reflect on defeat in Perth
Test great Geoffrey Boycott has voiced concern at the prospect of England suffering a Ashes whitewash.

Australia clinched the series with a 206-run win in the third Test in Perth, avenging their loss in England in 2005.

And Boycott told BBC Five Live: "I'm worried now about where it goes from here. I'm worried it could be 5-0.

"We are going to Melbourne [next] and we are probably going to get another thrashing. I can't see where they are going to pick themselves up."

Boycott pointed the finger at coach Duncan Fletcher and captain Andrew Flintoff over team selection and called for Fletcher to be replaced next April following the World Cup in the Caribbean.

"They wanted to pick players who played in the Ashes-winning team and hoping against hope it would all come right on the day.

"You pick guys in form and you have to move on. The Aussies move on. There is no sentiment, no sympathy."

He will still be here for the one-dayers but you make a decision that he is going after the World Cup

Boycott on Fletcher

He continued: "After the World Cup is the right moment to have a change, to have fresh ideas, fresh views. It's just like a business. You run it like a business - you don't just wait for things to get from bad to worse."

Former England captain Nasser Hussain, a long-time Fletcher supporter, conceded that errors had been made.

"When I worked with him he got 95% of selections right. That's why England went on to win the Ashes [last year].

"It's going to be a very difficult time for the selectors and a difficult time for Fletcher in particular because his picks have gone in the other direction.

"His Ashley Giles pick, his Monty Panesar pick, his Marcus Trescothick pick for the tour and Geraint Jones - they couldn't be more wrong," he said.

Boycott was particularly damning in his criticism of Jones, who was preferred to Chris Read as wicket-keeper because of his supposedly superior batting.

"His mind has gone and he's got to get out of Test cricket and give someone else a go. To pick him [again] would be outrageous," he said.

Another former captain, Mike Gatting, accused England of failing to show sufficient respect for the task facing them in Australia.

"We played two three-day warm-up games but why not play two four-day games - it's only another two days - to get two proper practice matches?

"I don't know any sport where you don't get better the more you practise. When you play the best team in the world you've got to be ready and I don't think we were ready," Gatting told the BBC.



SEE ALSO
Fletcher position to be reviewed
18 Dec 06 |  England


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