JAMES E BOOKER: ‘I never want to hear another player’s name’

A former England cricketer has claimed he was offered £50,000 to play in the World Cup final in Australia but declined, saying: “I don’t want to see another player in the team”.

Former England and Wales captain James E Booker said he was asked to attend a World Cup game in 2010 with the hope he would win the tournament for England, but he instead had to sit out the final due to a back injury.

Booker said his back injury had been a big factor in the decision, and the World Rugby chief executive, Gary Gold, said he had “no regrets” over the decision.”

I was told, ‘James, we need you to play for us, because we need your experience’.”

Booker said his back injury had been a big factor in the decision, and the World Rugby chief executive, Gary Gold, said he had “no regrets” over the decision.

Bookers future at the tournament has been uncertain since a string of high-profile injuries has hampered England’s progress, including three England players being dropped from the squad for World Cup qualifiers.

In the absence of the injured players, the England squad has struggled, with an eight-man group which has lost four games in a row.

BookingBookers departure leaves a vacancy in the England camp at the World Series in Australia, which has attracted an array of international stars including France’s Thierry Henry, Argentina’s Carlos Tevez, and Wales’ Gareth Bale.

“I’m not happy to leave the Worlds,” Bookers said.

“There’s been a lot of great moments and there’s a lot more to come but we need to be focused and get it right at the moment.”

My mind is set on getting back to the World’s.

I know there’s lots of great players in the squad, but we’re all trying to do everything to win.”© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.