England have (apparently) been lacking motivation

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Joe Root (via Channel 5)

The Ashes, you know, it’s hard to really get up for. Hard to get up at 5am or whatever and hard to get up in the ‘come on, let’s give it everything’ sense too.

Or at least that’s the way England have been painting things.

James Anderson said the tourists could take “extra fire” from having got into good positions during the first Test only to let them slip.

More fire? It was the first Ashes Test? Why on earth weren’t you already deploying your full complement of fire? What were you saving it for? Some scented candles? An alien queen’s egg chamber? The one-dayers that no-one gives a flying full toss about?

Referring to that Bairstow-Bancroft bollocks, Anderson added: “We don’t need an extra incentive, but if we did it will give us that.”

This kind of comment is all very ‘going to give it 110 per cent’. He’s essentially implying that they’re already doing their best but from now on will do better than their best.

Joe Root agrees. He believes that Steve Smith’s recent press conference appearance in which he guffawed like a child dosed up to the eyeballs with Sunset Yellow will work “massively in our favour”.

“To see a reaction like that in a press conference is- I mean if that can’t get you up for the next game then I don’t know what can. If that’s not motivation to the players, I don’t know what is.

“Hopefully that will work massively in our favour. I know it’s an Ashes series, there is a lot on the line and naturally you are going to be motivated for every game but knowing the characters in our dressing-room that will really give them a bit of something else to make sure we put things right this week.”

So England fans, rest assured that England will be bringing extra fire and extra motivation to the second Test. If they lose that one too, you can be sure that they’ll then bring EVEN MORE to the third Test.

Not less. Losing Test matches definitely can’t eat away at fire and motivation. This is why the worst sides are always the most fiery and motivated.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. Amen to this. Any time a renowned sporting figure from the past dies in the vicinity of a big match/tournament, you get calls of “do it for Pastplayer McOldface”. No! Do it for those who are alive! Do it because it’s your job! Do it because you have a sense of pride in your own efforts! I’m aware it’s just a platitude, but the idea that they keep something in reserve to be dipped into for events unknown irritates me no end.

      1. Ah, Pastplayer McOldface. Averaged 23 with the bat and 37 with the ball, but made great tuna and cucumber sandwiches.

    1. Ah, Pastplayer McOldface – I think I saw him make a battling 50 in the John Player League, he was quite clearly struggling with the after effects of the previous evening when he was fielding near me earlier in the game (as evidenced by his unrepeatable response to a young autograph hunter who chose the wrong time to distract his attention from play), but by George did he give it some humpty when he got in to bat. Of course, the game was very different then….

      1. Never saw a John Player League match live. Only rarely saw it on the TV.

        I hope you aren’t talking about this match:


        This one, from September 1981, was “after my time” watching TV.

        My diary entry for that day says that I went to Wendy’s in the afternoon and on to a youth club reunion in the evening.

        Doesn’t quite make the cut for Ogblog, that one. Sorry to disappoint you, Mike.

        Not sure whether Ken McEwan has been known as Pastplayer McOldface before, but as far as I’m concerned, he is now.

  2. Maybe fire, like dueness, is a finite resource that has to be carefully rationed during a long and protracting sporting contest.

      1. Protracting is a legitimate word, deiseach, not a cromulent one.

        But Mike meant to say “protracted” in that context.

        Chapeau to Mike for pointing out his own minuscule error. Hope you feel better soon, Mike.

  3. You have to balance building up your motivation against getting so far behind you can’t win.

    Think how motivated they’ll be at 2-0 with 3 to play (and how due Cook is going to be).

    Of course, they’ll have to worry about momentum then (although this tour already seems to be going downhill quickly).

  4. I’m worried I won’t be sufficiently motivated to get up for the second Test. What time does it start? Half past silly o’clock?

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