MARC HIGGINSON'S WORLD OF CRICKET: Keedy can play a role for England on sub-Continent

First published in Cricket by

TODAY will bring one of the most nerve-wracking afternoons in the history of Lancashire County Cricket Club.

Can the Red Rose side beat Somerset? Will Hampshire be able to hold Warwickshire to a draw?

If the answer to both of those questions is ‘yes’, then Lancashire will win their first outright County Championship title since 1934.

It will be a remarkable achievement for a group of players who were touted as relegation fodder at the start of the season.

However, for all their success, it is highly likely that, discounting James Anderson, whose Old Trafford appearances are now severely restricted, England will head to the UAE (to play Pakistan) and Sri Lanka this winter without a single player in their squad from Lancashire.

One man who deserves the call more than most is veteran spinner Gary Keedy.

The 36-year-old has enjoyed another golden summer and, while he is not the long-term solution, he is the perfect pick as second choice to Graeme Swann on a tour where top quality slow bowling is crucial to success.

He might be short on international experience, but 650 career wickets is proof of the talent the slow left armer possesses.

With 60 victims under his belt this summer, Keedy is still at the top of his game and one of the few twirlers around with the confidence to attack, rather than merely contain.

The Wakefield-born ace would certainly be a pick from left field, considering the success of Monty Panesar and Samit Patel this winter.

But, just like Shaun Udal’s selection in India five years ago, when the veteran bowled England to victory in the third Test, it might well be in the best interests of England to select a player with a more limited shelf-life to ensure short-term success.

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