Originally Posted by Death
As for "fast tracking"; I agree with what Fletcher was trying to do. The previous regimes had been content to allow young bowlers to plod around the county circuit for years, by which time they had usually lost an edge of pace and enthusiasm, or started to learn bad habits. Then they were picked and when they failed to bowl out a side single-handed in their first two games, were unceremoniously dumped. Fletcher realised the power of a young quick to really set the cat among the pigeons and the good ones often come along in leaps and bounds if given the chance (e.g. Lillee, Gough, Lee, Akram, Younis) since fast bowling relies on an ability to satisfactorily harness the speed and energy of youth with the required degree of accuracy. However, they do need to play to learn their trade and that hasn't always been true as far as England's young bowlers are concerned, the most notable case being Tremlett who was kept in the squad all season and then dropped through lack of cricket. Ridiculous.
Personally, I do think that Mahmood etc.need to play regular cricket at the moment. It is difficult to establish yourself in an international side when you only play the odd game here and there though the current crop have had quite a lot of chances. I've always thought that Anderson was a flash in the pan but only time will tell. Taking another plane load of crocks who have barely broken sweat all season on the winter tour ought to see the chairman sacked as should have been the case last winter.
There's always a balance though. We have had a situation though with particularly Mahmood and Anderson through either injury (Anderson) or not being picked for their county (Mahmood) have played precious little cricket at domestic level and despite both having considerable talent, have not surprisingly struggled at international level for consistency. The last point you make is particularly poignant.