Pat Pocock: Former England bowler critical of current spin depth


Former Surrey and England spinner Pat Pocock has criticised the current depth of slow bowling in the country.

Pocock, 66, played 25 Test matches between 1967 and 1985, with an eight-year hiatus in the middle.

England spinners since Ashley Giles last played in 2006

Test Matches

  • Graeme Swann: 222 wickets in 52 matches
  • *Monty Panesar: 164 wickets in 48 matches
  • Samit Patel: 4 wickets in five matches
  • James Tredwell: six wickets in one match

One-day internationals

  • * Swann: 103 wickets in 75 matches
  • Patel: 24 wickets in 36 matches
  • *Jamie Dalrymple: 14 wickets in 27 matches
  • Panesar: 24 wickets in 26 matches
  • Tredwell: 26 wickets in 16 matches
  • * Gareth Batty: 5 wickets in 10 matches
  • Adil Rashid: three wickets in five matches
  • Scott Borthwick: no wickets in two matches
  • Danny Briggs: two wickets in one match

*includes matches before Giles's retirement

"It's a sad indictment in the whole country, there are only two spinners [Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar] good enough to play Test match cricket for England," he told BBC Surrey.

"Those two are over 30 and after them we are really, really struggling."

Leicestershire off-spinner Jigar Naik is the most successful spin bowler in English first-class cricket this summer with 26 wickets, two more than Durham leg-spinner Scott Borthwick, who played two one-day internationals in 2011, and slow left-armer Simon Kerrigan of Lancashire.

As well as taking 67 Test wickets, Pocock made over 800 first-class appearances, predominantly for Surrey although he spent some time with Northern Transvaal in South Africa.

Since retiring from his day job in golf event management, he has taken up a position on the committee at The Oval.

"The England side is very good at the moment, but from my department of the game it is disappointing," he continued.

"There's eight or nine batsmen to choose from, a similar number of seamers and four wicketkeeper-batsmen who could all do great jobs in Test cricket, but we are not developing spin bowlers.

"Every county team's spinners look to me like they can only bowl in one-day cricket.

"Something has to be done. I flagged this up with the ECB [England and Wales Cricket Board] five or six years ago but we haven't got any closer to rectifying the problem."