ENGLAND Lions captain Rob Key is happy for his players to play for themselves when they take on New Zealand over the next four days at the Rose Bowl.
At least half of what amounts to England’s reserve side no doubt believe they should be in the squad announced on Sunday morning for next week’s Lord’s Test.
A century or a five-wicket burst down on the south coast in front of the watching
selectors might just swing the issue for them, and Key says he can handle his players putting self-interests first.
“If I have 10 other guys desperate to get runs and wickets for themselves then that will make my life as captain easier,” said Key, himself pushing hard to add to his 15 Test caps after more than three years out of the reckoning.
“Personal agendas are not a bad thing as long as they are aiming for success. This match is a stage to stake your own claims but we can also do a little bit for England. They had a bit of a tough time this winter and this is a chance for the England set-up to stamp their authority on New Zealand.”
Foremost among those out to prove a point to the selectors will be Matthew Hoggard, who felt he had been harshly treated when he was dropped after one indifferent Test in New Zealand.