A-plus for skipper Yardy
Sussex all-rounder Michael Yardy is relishing the opportunity to captain the England A side on their forthcoming tour to Bangladesh.
Yardy has played five one-day internationals after featuring last summer and at the recent ICC Champions Trophy in India, but was overlooked for the triangular series in Australia later this month.
His chances of playing in the World Cup in the spring have therefore receded but, to compensate, the 26-year-old left-arm spinner will lead a 14-man A party that includes exciting prospects Stuart Broad and Adil Rashid.
Yardy, who was with the National Academy in Perth before Christmas, said: “Obviously it was disappointing to be left out of the main party but I knew in India there were areas of my game that I needed to improve.
“You have to take the positives out of everything and the A tour will give me the chance to work on it.
“You’re lucky to get the chance to captain England at any level, whether it be under-12s or the full team, and this is a great opportunity for me to improve my game.
“It is something I will really look forward to and will relish.”
After excelling in the Test arena, Monty Panesar has earned the right to the first-choice spinner’s spot in England’s one-day planning but Yardy hopes that with hard work he can keep himself in the picture.
He added: “Monty has done very well in his international career but you don’t know what is around the corner.
“I have got to make sure what I do is right and if the opportunity comes along again I can take it.
“But I need to concentrate on my own game. If you start looking at other people you can take your eye off the ball.”
The news of Yardy’s appointment comes just over a week after the birth of the player’s first child, Syenna Lucienne, to his wife Karin on Christmas Eve.
Yardy added: “Obviously that puts everything into perspective and I’m very proud.
“The sleepless nights are great but hopefully the baby will be into a routine when I get back!”
Among Yardy’s colleagues on tour will be Leicestershire fast bowler Broad, who also played for the senior side in the summer, and Yorkshire’s exciting leg-spinning prospect Rashid.
Alex Loudon and Tim Bresnan also remain in the reckoning while Kent’s 26-year-old Danish fast bowler Amjad Khan, now qualified for England, is included.
Essex’s highly-rated 21-year-old batsman Ravi Bopara is named along with Middlesex’s Nick Compton, grandson of legendary England batsman Denis.
Rashid, 18, has been suffering from a stress fracture of the back but is expected to recover in time to feature on the tour which starts next month.
Yorkshire chief executive Stewart Regan said: “Following an excellent season for Yorkshire last summer I am delighted that Adil has been called up with Tim Bresnan into the England A squad.
“Obviously Adil is still recovering from a back injury right now but he will be bowling again in a couple of weeks’ time and I’m sure that this call-up will be a great incentive for him to get back to full fitness as quickly as possible.
“It is a great honour for Yorkshire to have two of our players in the squad and we wish Tim and Adil every success in Bangladesh.”