Former Glamorgan batsman Tony Cottey claims he is mystified by the county’s decision to drop veteran off spinner Robert Croft.
Glamorgan have left Croft, 40 in May, out of the three County Championship matches against Middlesex, Derbyshire and Worcestershire – the first time he has been axed from the four-day county side in 15 years.
It means the less experienced Dean Cosker, the slow left armer, is being perceived as the No. 1 spinner in the club.
“If after half a dozen games and he’d bowled poorly I could understand the decision a little more, but to drop a player who would still walk into a large proportion of county teams in both the first and second divisions, so early in the season, is mystifying,” said Cottey, who played with Croft in the same Glamorgan side which lifted the 1997 Championship title before joining Sussex.
“I’ve been involved in professional sport for almost 30 years and have witnessed several times a senior player being eased out of a club for a myriad of weird and wonderful reasons.
“I truly hope the events of the last couple of weeks don’t suggest that’s happening to Robert. His service for Glamorgan for over 20 years demands that he deserves far better than that.
“But if you look closely, the clues [to his axing] were there. The last couple of years, Crofty was left out of the one-day squad with no explanation and after continued disappointments by the team,he was recalled, and performed, as he’s always done, to a very high standard.”
In the last three seasons Croft – who has 21 Test match and 50 one-day international appearances under his belt – has taken 56 wickets (2009), 39 (2008) and 53 (2007). In ’07 and ’08 he topped the wicket-taking list of English-qualified spinners.
“After just one Championship game this season it appears that statistics, added to a pretty stellar career on both the international and domestic stages, have been ignored,” added Cottey.
Croft, who had 1,107 first-class victims to his name at the start of this season, has also been excluded from the Glamorgan squad for the start of the club’s Clydesdale Bank 40 campaign.