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Last Updated: Sunday, 21 October 2007, 07:11 GMT 08:11 UK
Strauss plans break from cricket
Andrew Strauss
Strauss next chance for England will be the tour of New Zealand
Andrew Strauss says he has been "hurt" by his omission from the England squad and plans to take a break from cricket.

The 30-year-old was left out of the Test squad to tour Sri Lanka, despite having been awarded a year-long central contract only last month.

Strauss captained England as recently as 2006 against Pakistan but has been dropped after averaging just 27 in Tests over the last year.

"To say that it hurts is a massive understatement," he said.

"In truth it is the culmination of a long, tiring and immensely frustrating 12 months in which little has gone my way.

"I have been a victim of some poor umpiring decisions, some unfortunate dismissals and a few incredibly good balls delivered at just the wrong moment.

"But I still have to take responsibility for my less than satisfactory contributions."

Without any sort of window in the last 18 months to take stock, turning it around has been extremely difficult

Andrew Strauss

England seamer Steve Harmison will head to South Africa next month to boost his fitness and form and Australian club cricket could have been another option for Strauss, but instead he is planning to take a break from cricket.

He will then decide if he should join the 'Performance Squad' that will travel to India this winter.

"Some further time away from the game, regaining hunger and desire, may be beneficial," he told the Sunday Telegraph.

"But over the longer term the only way I can rediscover the habit of scoring runs is by playing, so I will have to look into the opportunities available."

In the 19 months since March 2006, Strauss has played in all 31 of England's Test matches on tour in India and Australia and at home to Sri Lanka, Pakistan, West Indies and India.

606: DEBATE
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He has also appeared in 34 of the 39 one-day internationals England have played in that time - he was dropped for the first few games of the World Cup.

Strauss described the programme as a "ridiculously crowded international schedule".

He added: "Without any sort of window in the last 18 months to take stock, make technical changes and refresh the mind, turning it around has been extremely difficult.

"It isn't that I have been completely out of form but rather that I have been caught in a limbo, where every decent innings seemed to be followed by a low score.

"Without nailing a couple of really substantial contributions to silence the doubters, the pressure has grown."

SEE ALSO
Ruthless England discard Strauss
19 Oct 07 |  England
Gooch questions Strauss position
14 Aug 07 |  England
Strauss left out
22 Mar 07 |  England
England in Sri Lanka 2007
25 Jun 07 |  Cricket


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