Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Andrew Strauss we salute you

Today has been a very sad day for English cricket. Andrew Strauss, a fine leader, a fine batsman, the leading outfield catcher for his country and most notably, one of the gentleman of English cricket retired today from all forms of cricket. With the England captaincy, you either get the sack or you resign if you're lucky. This was on his terms, and not many people get applauded on their way out by the press. Strauss did.

Strauss

I was lucky enough to watch him bat live at Lord's on the first occasion for England, Friday 21st May 2004 against New Zealand. The morning was lit up by a scintillating 82 from Chris Cairns, but a typical Strauss knock full of cuts and clips off the legs, brought up a fantastic hundred just before the close.

He then went to South Africa, and scored a hundred on his debut abroad as well, only the seventh man in history to accomplish this feat, home and away. The Ashes of 2005 made Strauss a legend in the eyes of most English cricket fans, with a fine hundred at Old Trafford and who will ever forget that diving catch to dismiss the dangerous Gilchrist at Trent Bridge?

However it is as a captain, we will remember Andrew Strauss. It is a credit to Middlesex that they have produced two of the finest captains of English cricket in Mike Brearley and Strauss. Yes, he really should be mentioned in the same breath.

England were a shambles when he and Andy Flower took over. Dissent was rife in the ranks, Pietersen losing a coach his job, and getting bowled all out for 51 in Jamaica, we forget how poor we actually were. Together the two Andrews, picked up the pieces, and put a smile on the face of English cricket again. Back to back Ashes wins, and leading your country to world number one haven't exactly been a common occurrence for English skippers, have they?

Back to back Ashes and world number one

At the press conference today, Strauss sat alongside his protege, and another gentleman Alistair Cook, and Hugh Morris, all three left handed openers, resplendent in their maroon ties. Cook said, "that he had huge boots to fill, and it is an exciting time". He will no doubt be a success, and is another who is selfless. Moving on, I would like to see Joe Root take on the opening berth.

However, this is all about Strauss, and  definitely not KP, who he was quick to say had nothing to do with his decision, rather a gradual decision over the last six to twelve months, and that he hasn't batted well enough. Honest to the end.

He also mentioned his team mates had clubbed together to buy him a hundred bottles of wine to celebrate his hundredth test, which will furnish him well in retirement. Another sign of respect, and Andrew you deserve them.

The man they call Levi celebrates one of his twenty one Test tons

Finally, he was asked, "How will you want your career to be remembered?" He replied, "Firstly, I hate that question, but that I have played the game the right way, and have adhered to my principles".

Andrew Strauss, you most certainly have. The Middle Stump salutes you.

5 comments:

  1. Shame to hear of Andrew Strauss's retirement from all pro cricket. I do think though,that the KP saga was the straw that broke this camel's back. The sooner the KP texts are made public and his future decided, the sooner the team can draw a line and embark on a new era under Cook. A tough opening assignment away in India, that will not be easy. Neil@ReedCC

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  2. Thanks Neil. I think Strauss has too much class as a person for those texts to become public. I believe you met Liam the other week? I know a lot of the boys up at Reed - Jacksons, Richie Robertson, Baz Curtis etc. A good club, good lads. When are you guys at Lord's? Fancy writing a piece for us about your day there?

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  3. Hello Dan, yes met Liam a couple of weeks ago. I'm inpressed with the blogs on my Yahoo page now. Yes I would love to do a piece for the NVC Final on 9th September, would you like me to email it on send it via the blog? Neil@ReedCC

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  4. Neil, that would be fantastic. Can you send it to dan@londonlegalrec.com and we will publish it. Is it next Sunday? We will run a piece in the lead up too if you want? Drop me an e mail and we will go from there...

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  5. Hi Dan, yes the Final is a week this Sunday, A lead up piece would be tidy. Cheers Neil@ReedCC.

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