England coach Mark Robinson has spoken about the decision to drop Tash Farrant and Beth Langston from the England squad, admitting it was tough on the players, who unlike the men have no professional county game to fall back on.
Acknowledging it wasn’t an easy decision, Robinson described Farrant as a “model pro [who] does everything right and gives herself every opportunity”, and he admitted that the decision was partly an economic as well as a cricketing one:
“You’ve got to create financial room for other players and room for opportunity on the pitch for Freya Davies and others.”
Going forwards, along with the support they get from the Professional Cricketers’ Association, Farrant and Langston will get 3 months of full support from England, including their salary package and medical insurance, but after that things get tough.
“That is the sad bit,” admitted Robinson. “It is the same as a [male] county cricketer being released – if he doesn’t get another job or doesn’t get another county that’s it. That is the unfortunate place we are in.”
However, Robinson’s take is that sometimes you have to be “cruel to be kind” to players on the fringes.
“With young players, you don’t want to string people on – it’s difficult – you have to be fair to them as well – you don’t want to release them at 26 and you’ve messed up their whole life.”
“I think at some point you’ve got to say ‘we can’t actually see you coming through’.”
But Robinson stresses that there is potentially a way back.
“Tash might re-invent herself – she could be a major player.”
“So for Beth and Tash their decision now is: do I play KSL and county cricket, then the year after, when hopefully semi-professionalism comes in, they do that; or do they go on to a different career?”
That, indeed, is the question…!!