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  Thursday, 28 November, 2002, 02:16 GMT
Caddick rejects Atherton 'rubbish'
Andy Caddick (foreground) and Alec Stewart (background) have struggled on the Ashes tour
Caddick (foreground) and Stewart have had tough tours
England bowler Andrew Caddick has hit back at criticism from Mike Atherton by accusing the former captain of speaking "rubbish".

Atherton said that both Caddick and wicket-keeper Alec Stewart were mentally "scarred" by playing Australia.

He also pointed the finger at the pace bowler's "clowning around" during the second Ashes Test, after Caddick exchanged banter with supporters while fielding near the boundary.

But Caddick has retaliated at his former skipper - and also questioned why Atherton did not express his thoughts to the bowler's face.

"I played with and under Mike Atherton for a long time and had great respect for him, which is why I found what he had to say about me this week so disappointing," Caddick told the Daily Express newspaper.


Atherton knows me well enough so I wonder why he did not come and put his theories to my face
Andrew Caddick

Caddick said the suggestion he and Stewart were scarred by playing Australia was "pretty insulting".

He went on: "I never heard Atherton suggest that he was mentally scarred by Glenn McGrath, who used to get him out on a fairly regular basis.

"Now Alec and I are having a tough time on this tour, suddenly he's got the answer to our problems.

"It's rubbish and it annoys me, particularly coming from someone who shared a dressing room with us and should know better."

Caddick said he was "neither scared nor scarred" by playing Australia and insisted that England were up against a side "probably better than any Athers ever played against".

As for the "clowning around" accusation, Caddick said he was giving as good as he got in the midst of some abuse from the Australian supporters.

Caddick (right) with Atherton during their days as team-mates
Caddick (right) and Atherton were formerly team-mates

"The trouble is Athers spent almost his entire career standing at slip or near the bat," said the bowler.

"He doesn't know what it's like fielding a couple of yards away from a bunch of fans always on your back."

Caddick added: "Atherton knows me well enough so I wonder why he did not come and put his theories to my face. We would have had an interesting discussion."

Meanwhile, Caddick said he was still hoping to play in the Perth Test despite an ongoing back problem.

A late decision will be made on Friday morning in Western Australia, just before the match begins, but Caddick has had a steroid injection and an epidural to kill the pain.

"That is a fairly radical measure just 48 hours before a Test but these are radical times for our team," he admitted.


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