Cricket Captain Andrew Strauss Resigns for Good of The Team
Test Cricket Captain Andrew Strauss has set an example for everyone in sport by putting the team first and resigning. Can you imagine a soccer player doing anything like that?
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Cricket is one of those games that still has a fair play, stick to the rules, do the decent thing, kind of ethos. Golf is probably another. Professionalism and cash have chipped away at the cricket code but the attitude is still there, ticking away at the heart of the game.
Of course there are exceptions, Kevin Pietersen springs to mind, but let’s come back to him.
Andrew Strauss has just given everyone a reminder of the best side of cricket by resigning – because as captain, he judged that was the right thing to do for the team.
He felt his personal form was not good enough and he always wanted to lead by example – not serve as a distraction by setting up doubts about why he was in the team. Strauss could easily have carried on, he has the respect of the team and is one of England’s most successful cricket captains ever.
The English cricket team is traditionally judged by performances against the most dangerous of opponents – Australia. Strauss led England to victory against them in 2 series, at home and away.
In addition he took over a demoralised, struggling side – and led them to the Number One position in world cricket. That is some record. He has performed well as a player, leading by example and not so long ago he had a good series against the West Indies.
But more recently he has struggled to score with the bat and he judged that he was no longer good enough to be picked on merit. There was no pressure from the selectors or the team manager Andy Flowers. The decision was his. He thought the team would be better without him.
Compare that for a moment with the average Premier League soccer player who will run screaming to the tabloids if he is dropped and very possibly will demand a transfer, regardless of the 5-year contract he has just signed. If his wishes are not granted he will sit on the substitutes bench scowling or smirking if his team is losing without him.
In an important game last season Carlos Tevez of Manchester City even refused to come off the bench and play when his manager called on him. Unfortunately that is the ethos of soccer at the highest level.
South African born Kevin Pietersen who moved to England to further his cricket career has shown similar attitudes. He sent texts to South African players – when he was playing for England in a Test match against them. The texts are alleged to be insulting about his team mates and Pietersen has refused to deny that.
Strauss was careful to say the Pietersen affair had not affected his decision – even though some of the texts are probably about him. His decision was above that, just as his attitudes are the polar opposite of Pietersen’s behaviour.
At only 36 Andrew Strauss has decided to retire from the game completely because he felt it was the right thing to do. He will be missed and he has set a rare example in modern professional sport.