England Cricket selector Angus Fraser has revealed that he had felt “bit of anger” after his team won the Ashes series against Australia after the criticism that had been thrown at the management and senior players.
England secured an Ashes series victory on Saturday by comfortably beating Australia and taking an unattainable lead in the series.
Last season saw England captain Alastair Cook face repeated calls to resign, while national selector James Whitaker had his position called into question as well.
Meanwhile this year saw Andrew Strauss, England’s incoming director of cricket, face widespread flak both for his refusal to end the international exile of star batsman Kevin Pietersen and for saying the decision was a matter of “trust”.
But last Saturday an England side captained by Cook and, in part, selected by Whitaker, beat Australia by an innings and 78 runs at Trent Bridge in the fourth Test to take an unbeatable 3-1 lead in the five-match Ashes series.
“What has been said or written about Cook, Strauss and Whitaker has been harsh and personal,” former England seamer Fraser told BBC Radio on Monday.
“There’s a bit of anger. But there is also huge satisfaction. I’m delighted for Cook and Strauss, who took a lot of stick for the decisions he made.”
Last weekend’s victory capped a turbulent 18-month period in English cricket history.
After England were whitewashed 5-0 in Australia, Pietersen’s international career was controversially brought to an end, with Cook retaining his position as Test captain.
However, Cook was axed entirely from the one-day squad on the eve of the World Cup, although the decision did not spare England from an embarrassing first-round exit.
England managing director Paul Downton, a former team-mate of Fraser’s at Middlesex, and coach Peter Moores were both sacked, with ex-England captain Strauss’s appointment leading to renewed speculation about Whitaker’s role.
“Jimmy is the one at the front so he gets named-checked all the time,” said Middlesex director of cricket Fraser, who sits on a selection panel with Whitaker, England coach Trevor Bayliss and Nottinghamshire coach Mick Newell.
“Quite rightly you are under inspection, because you are there to do a job properly. But when people are making judgements on your character, knowledge and whether you are in touch with the game, you sit there and seethe.
“Sometimes success brings more relief than joy, or satisfaction from proving people wrong.”