England's priority is winning
England care just as much about one-day cricket as they do Tests, according to chairman of selectors David Graveney.
Graveney, who describes England’s early elimination from the ICC Champions Trophy as “very disappointing”, insists there is no question of the national team prioritising Test success over their limited-overs fortunes.
The disparity in England’s performances in the two principal formats of the sport has widened dramatically in the modern era.
That trend continued as they lost summarily to India and Australia and found themselves returning home early from the mini-World Cup on the sub-continent.
It has all proved too much for some observers, notably former England captain Geoffrey Boycott, who has been outspoken in his criticism and suggested the problem lies in a lack of regard among the players for one-day cricket.
Graveney refutes that. “Nobody is sitting on their hands and not rating one-day cricket as important as Test match cricket. For me, it is equally important,” he said.
“People are not just dismissing the way we have played and the statistics we have from the last 20-odd games.
“We continue to work on it and try to find the right combinations to win one-day games.”
The 2005 Ashes triumph - and the resulting surge of interest then and in the rematch against Australia this winter - has seen England followers setting more store in Test success, even with a World Cup coming up in the Caribbean next March.
The players know, however, that they must begin to put things right - and Graveney insists that under coach Duncan Fletcher they do not lack for support at management level.
“We treat one-day cricket with the same intensity and attention to detail as we do Test cricket,” Graveney said.
“It is true that some people who support English cricket are only interested in Test matches.
“But we know we have to earn the support we get for one-day games - you do not have that by right - and you do that by putting up good performances and winning matches.
“We have not done that and we know we have work to do.”