Andrew Strauss wants cricketers who use their brains for something other than preventing their skulls from caving in

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Andrew Strauss does his own thingWe’re not in the habit of paying much heed to public pronouncements from cricketers. You can say what you like. It’s not the same as actually doing something.

We could say that we beat Thor at chess yesterday, but it’s transparently a lie. We would never play chess.

However, we did like something that Andrew Strauss said today. Whether there’s anything behind it or not, it reflected a certain way of thinking at the very least.

“My belief is we want to see players who think on their feet out in the middle; who take responsibility for the situation and don’t leave it to someone else.

“The only way we can do that is to give them more responsibility off the field as well. I’m challenging my players to start thinking a bit more about what they need to do in terms of preparation and I’m giving them a lot more flexibility to do that.”

Cricketers, particularly England’s cricketers, need to think for themselves more. If you’re competing in international cricket, you’re an elite sportsman. That’s not ‘elite’ in the sense that you get paid more – which seems to be the primary meaning these days. It means you’re supposed to be better than everyone else.

England’s cricketers should be setting their own standards rather than meeting the tick box requirements of their coaches/carers.

If you want to be the best in the world at something, you need to know more than anyone else about it. You need to be the authority on the subject. If you’re meeting your coach’s requirements then they know as much as you do. Really you should be setting the pace.

We don’t expect players to invent new deliveries or anything, but if the entire squad is striving for a certain standard as ‘the ultimate’, the opposition only needs to be slightly better than that to win. Aim higher.


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  1. Sounds like a sensible bloke.

    By the way, the West Indian people are calling “Aim higher” as “Higher Standards”. It is a well defined thing that Higher Standards with clear parameters. As a result now it is a proper noun like McBurger or McAloo Tiki.

    They aim to pile up Higher Standards upon the English team. It’s a motivation.

  2. This new flexibility in preparation; wouldn’t involve playing in the IPL rather than for their counties, would it?

  3. And according to the Times, and dear Patrick Kidd, Fred has fallen asleep in the departure lounge, and delayed The England’s flight to the Windies.

    Silly Fred, I assume Wing Commander will give him a bit of a ticking orff, and ask him to take even more responsability!

  4. He’s already started referring to his colleagues as ‘the chaps’ elsewhere, so it’s nice to see him conforming to our expectations.

  5. Dave, are you sure WC Strauss was talking about Team England, or just the contents of his wardrobe?

  6. It sounds like a great approach, this idea of players taking responsibility in their own hands and trying to think by themselves. However, depending on who is actually doing the thinking, I have my reservations. There is people out there whose attempts at thinking can be as successful as Matthew Hayden’s attempts at talking. Quite scary, really.

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