Gillespie baffled by Plunkett’s Test omission


Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie is shocked and bemused that paceman Liam Plunkett is not in England's 16-man squad for the upcoming four-match Test tour to South Africa.

The 30 year-old Plunkett, who plays his county cricket for Yorkshire, was overlooked for the games against the Proteas despite being in the squad but not playing a match on the recent tour to the UAE against Pakistan.

Plunkett was even close to being selected for the third and final against the Asian side but did not crack the starting team as England lost the series two-nil.

A former Australia international seam bowler who helped Plunkett re-establish his floundering career, Gillespie hopes the national selectors have explained the situation to the former Durham player.

Gillespie, who took 259 wickets in 71 Tests for the Aussies, said: "I've only exchanged a couple of messages with Liam, and I know he's bitterly disappointed.

"My only hope is that he's been given some specific reason by the selectors as to why because we were left scratching our heads at Yorkshire if I'm honest.

"He's gone from almost playing to not being in a squad for conditions that you would think would suit him – fast, bouncy wickets. He's one of the fastest bowlers in the country.

"Selectors will have their reasons, but my hope is that it has been communicated with clarity to Liam."

England's first Test against the Proteas will start on Boxing Day in Durban.