Liam Dawson on Test career prospects – ‘I don’t want to run drinks for England at my age’

The Hampshire all-rounder is content to chase trophies in franchise tournaments rather than chasing England caps

Alan Gardner

Liam Dawson: Test cricket 'completely off my radar'

Liam Dawson: Test cricket ‘completely off my radar’

Liam Dawson explains why he is comfortable with his decision not to pursue further Test caps with England

Liam Dawson admitted his ambitions as a Test cricketer were over after missing England’s tour of India this winter, saying he was happy with his decision to prioritize commitments in overseas T20 leagues rather than ending up running drinks as an unused team again. member.

Dawson, who won the last of his three Test caps in 2017, was England’s leading spinner in last year’s County Championship, taking 49 wickets at 8:00 p.m. – as well as scoring 840 runs – but was not included in the squad to face India. He had previously indicated that he should ask himself whether to accept a call from Englandafter securing a lucrative deal to play for Sunrisers Eastern Cape in the SA20, a tournament which clashed directly with the start of the Test tour, and in which he ended up lifting the trophy.

England instead selected the pair of Tom Hartley And Shoaib Bashir next to Réhan Ahmedwith a Test appearance under his belt, and the experienced Jack Leach. Hartley became England’s leading wicket-taker on tour, with 22 at 36.13, while Bashir took the first two five-wicket hauls of his first-class career to finish with 17 at 33.35. Even though Leach was ruled out due to injury after the first Test, nothing was done to call up a replacement, with England ultimately slumping to a 4–1 series defeat.

Speaking at Hampshire’s media day ahead of the start of the county championship season, Dawson said there had been “a few conversations” with the selectors over the winter but at age At the age of 34, he felt that his international career was probably behind him. .

Asked if he was still keen to play Test cricket, he told ESPNcricinfo: “Probably not now, no. To be honest, there are a few things that have happened over the last year .For me, Test cricket is probably completely off the radar now. But that’s the way it is, I’m 34 and I want to enjoy my cricket and try to win trophies towards the end of my career.

Dawson played a key role in Sunrisers’ SA20 success Sportzpics

“Knowing that I was going to South Africa, knowing that I was going to play there – obviously with the [Sunrisers] coach, Adi Birrell, here at Hampshire, I knew I was going to play, which was good. It’s not something I want to do anymore, serving drinks at my age. I was really happy with what I chose this winter and it turned out well.”

Dawson has won 20 England caps across three formats since 2016, as well as a 2019 ODI World Cup Winners’ Medal. He was a traveling reserve for the 2021 and 2022 T20 World Cups, but said he did not expect to be in the roster for this year’s tournament in the Caribbean and the United States.

“I think with my age, 34, actually, to be honest, that’s probably gone. A few things have happened over the last few months. [England selector] Luke Wright, I know where I stand. I don’t expect to play. I’m looking forward to playing for Hampshire this season and the Hundred with London Spirit.”

The fact that Dawson, a spin-bowling all-rounder, re-entered the Test selection frame more than seven years after making his India debut partly reflected the challenge for young England spinners of coming through the system – on summed it up at Hampshire by the fact that the club allowed Mason crane (a test ceiling in 2018) for join Glamorgan on loan looking for play time.

With rain falling at the Utilita Bowl a week before the county season began, Dawson said there were no easy answers.

“Without a doubt, it’s very, very difficult. I’m fortunate enough to be able to hit as well, so that’s made a huge difference in my career. I’ve always batted in the top seven, which balances out the teams. If you’re just a true spinner, it’s not easy to play in these conditions, at the time of year we play. There’s no ideal scenario, what gives , what’s not to give? When do you play championship cricket? It’s a difficult thing to do If you’re an avid player it can be difficult to get playing time with the weather, but I don’t know how you can change that.

“I haven’t looked very much [of the Tests in India]. I was in South Africa, so I watched bits and pieces. They [Hartley and Bashir] did very well. They are good bowlers. I faced Bashir last year here, I thought he was a very good bowler, and same with Tom Hartley when we played them at Southport, very consistent. I hope they can continue to do well.”

After spending several winters filling in as a 12th man on tour with England, Dawson this time jumped at the chance to improve his T20 CV, playing for the Melbourne Stars in Australia’s Big Bash League, followed by a full season at SA20 – where he helped the Sunrisers. to retain his title – then two ILT20 round of 16 appearances with the Gulf Giants, although on this occasion he was unable to add to what is an impressive and growing silverware collection.

“It was a very nice winter, nice to play in,” he said. “It’s good to have the opportunity to play for several different teams as well. But it’s always nice to come back to your home country and prepare for a season.

“I’m really excited, I love coming back here. It’s the same for everyone at this time of year. We have a huge goal as a team, to try and win trophies here. is something we’ve done over the years.”

Alan Gardner is an associate editor at ESPNcricinfo. @alanroderick

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