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Page last updated at 15:02 GMT, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 16:02 UK

England's decision to remove Finn queried by Fraser

First Test, Trent Bridge: England v Pakistan
Dates: 29-July-2 August Start time: 1100 BST
Coverage: Live ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC 5 live sports extra, BBC Radio 4 Long Wave and online; Live text commentary, daily reports and scorecard on BBC Sport website& mobiles; also live on Sky Sports

Steve Finn
Finn has taken 19 wickets in four Tests, all against Bangladesh

By Ben Dirs

Gus Fraser has questioned the decision to remove England fast bowler Steve Finn from cricket for six weeks before Thursday's first Test against Pakistan.

Finn, 21, took 15 wickets in two Tests against Bangladesh but only returned to action for Middlesex last week.

England placed him on a strengthening programme for most of June and July.

"Some people might say there's a bigger picture, but you want your players to learn by bowling," Fraser, Middlesex's director of cricket, told BBC Sport.

Fraser, who Finn views as something of a mentor, added: "I was surprised, but the ECB (England & Wales Cricket Board) have got their view and their view is a long-term one, they're planning towards the Ashes.


"I had reservations about it because Steven was in a great place at the time, taking wickets - two five-fers in consecutive Tests - was happy with life, full of energy and then all of a sudden he's taken out of cricket.

"And you always worry, when someone's in that place, how easy it will be to get back there six or seven weeks down the line.

"I don't think it's crazy, it's just not the way you do it - it's June and July, you should be playing cricket.

"You can't just press a button and all of a sudden get years of experience, it's something you've got to pick up as you go along.

"Steven struggled a fortnight ago in our second XI and looked rusty in patches against Sussex last week but finished it pretty strongly [Finn took six wickets in a draw against Sussex].

"So far it seems withdrawing him from cricket with Middlesex hasn't had any adverse effect on him but we'll get a better idea against Pakistan, I'd imagine.

"Steven's got a long career ahead of him and six weeks in a 10-15-year career is not a huge amount of time.

"But we'll find out how successful it's been as we move forward in this series, although it will be difficult to judge because Pakistan are obviously a better side than Bangladesh."

Finn made his Test debut against Bangladesh in Chittagong in March after a raft of injuries to England's pace attack led to him being called up as a late replacement.

He has taken 19 wickets in four Tests at an average of 23.42 and is strongly tipped to make this winter's Ashes tour to Australia.

If he does, the decision not to play him in the recent one-day series means the Aussies will not have had a sight of him until he arrives down under in November.

Fellow fast bowler Stuart Broad missed both Tests against Bangladesh earlier this summer after the England selectors decided he too should undertake strengthening work.

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see also
England facing Pakistan test
27 Jul 10 |  England
Miller defends squad selection
25 Jul 10 |  England
Bresnan recalled to England squad
28 Jul 10 |  England
Pakistan wrap up win over Aussies
24 Jul 10 |  Cricket
Ashes tickets go on general sale
20 Jul 10 |  Cricket
Bowler Finn awarded England deal
04 Jun 10 |  England
England rest Finn for one-dayers
07 Jun 10 |  England
Strauss hails Finn after victory
31 May 10 |  England
Pakistan in England 2010
07 Sep 10 |  Cricket
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket

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