Andy Flower motivates England’s openers and wicketkeepers

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It’s tricky motivating people. Trust us on this, we’re pretty clued up on the psychopathology of apathy.

Earlier in the year, Graeme Smith subtly dissed Dale Steyn because he didn’t think he was pulling his weight, even though Steyn was only just returning from injury. Smith didn’t care about that. ‘You play for South Africa, you have to perform’ was the message.

Andy Flower’s currently attempting to do the same thing with the England side. Jonathan Trott and Joe Denly have been told that their opening has been bobbins and Matt Prior can’t take a crap without Flower saying Craig Kieswetter did a bigger one.

England would like the Comfort Zone to be some sort of room full of bean bags and pyjamas rather than a state of mind for their first team, but this kind of mental prodding is tricky to pull off. You want your international cricketers resilient, but in reality they’re just as likely as anyone else to spend full weekends sleeping or to look upon a rain shower as being an invitation to covertly weep.

Flower is inviting mental fragility from England batsmen. That’s like misquoting Star Wars in a room full of computer programmers.


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  1. How motivated can you be when the opposition is Bangladesh? Things will change if they lose one of the matches, though.

  2. Duncan Fletcher used to insist that all England players could do two things from the usual three (bat, bowl, field). Andy Flower is keen on players who can do three from four things (bat, bowl, field, have hair). Prior has been sent to Graham Gooch for help, but it’s not working out as well as has been hoped. Hence Kieswetter.

  3. Good on Flower I say. England are WEAK. Mentally WEAK. You only have to look at Denly’s pathetic face to see how weak he is.
    Flower needs to motivate them by telling them they are all shit, and letting them get on with it.
    Eoin Morgan is strong. If Flower told him he was shit, he would tell him to fuck off, and then go and score a quickfire 62. Look in his eyes. He’ll fuck you up if you you try it on.

  4. I completely agree with Alex. What England needs (has always needed) is a strong man in charge, someone who can do what Smith did to Dale Steyn. Mike Atherton once said that England’s constant losses never bothered him, as he could always cope by considering what a great life he had as England captain. WHAT A TOSSER! Who the fuck did he think he was? For whose benefit did he think he was in the fucking job?

    Anyway, all that has changed forever with the appointment of the Wing Commander. He is mentally tough. No more going back to the bad old days of having mentally limp public schoolboys as captain, as can be seen from the choice of Alistair Cook as captain for thi… oh fuck!

    (PS. Mike Atherton, Lancastrian, great bloke, obviously)

  5. I disagree. England shouldn’t be strong. England should be about ragged floppy hats and eating weetabix.

  6. I cannot agree with the weetabix slant on this story.

    True brits are oat eaters for breakfast. You want grit, you eat oats.

    Perhaps its all this wimpy wheat, rice and corn stuff that has made our boys so flakey for the past few years.

  7. Perhaps having hair, a floppy hat and a mixture of grain based cereals – weetabix for training – oats for match days, do you think that might work?

  8. What worries me about all this is the King’s mental fragility – “they’re just as likely as anyone else .. to look upon a rain shower as being an invitation to covertly weep.” Must have been v lachrymose of late O King

  9. We thought everyone would identify with that, ceci. We thought it was a universal truth, like the relief you feel when you’re massively ill because you don’t have to go out of the house and speak to people.

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