Tuesday, 29 July 2003

CRICKET: So Nasser Hussain has quit. Maybe he's had enough, fair enough, but surely in the middle of back-to-back Tests isn't the ideal time?! Maybe Michael Vaughan is ready, and keen, and in pretty good nick with the bat, but Nasser has still done a pretty decent job of turning England into a competitive and more gutsy team than some of his predecessors.

But when South Africa blasted nearly 400 for 1 on the first day at Edgebaston, the press were as eager as ever to turn on a team that had just won a triangular one-day series. It annoys me that they feel its the right thing to say after a single bad day. Even when going into the final day, with only 20 required and still three wickets in hand to save th follow-on, the tone of news readers was one of nervous negativity. I know the media have a job to make stories sound more exciting, but please, could you add maybe a hint of national pride rather than assumptions that we will fail.

But it's far easier and safer to be negative and pick faults than it is to stick your neck out and back someone. Nasser has left the national team in a more solid state, able to show more grit, and we did avoid the follow-on and never looked like losing the match. Thanks Nasser, but no thanks to the press.

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