Stick to What You're Good At

English cricketers like football. Indeed, there was a time a few years ago when it started to seem as though most of them liked it more than cricket. I remember one or two (Michael Vaughan was certainly one) giving the distinct impression that they were only playing cricket for a living because they weren't good enough at the game with a bigger ball. When Freddie Flintoff pointed out that his famous shirt-wheeling celebration in India in 2002 wasn't influenced by football celebrations because he wasn't all that interested in the game, it came as a refreshing change.

So far so harmless, but, like most people with half a brain, I can see that there's no valid reason for international cricketers to warm up by playing football. Injuries, whether serious or not, are an inevitable and demonstrable consequence (just ask Mark Wagh or Jimmy Anderson or Joe Denly), and, as Tuesday night's events at Old Trafford showed, international cricketers never want to put themselves in a position in which they can get injured. Sure, it may be less 'boring' than just running around the ground, but in the general scheme of things I can't see that as a problem. If any of the players had to step out of their bubble and do an ordinary job for a day or two they'd know all about boredom (although I, of course, love my job and am never bored (ha ha)).

I've ranted about this before, and it's clearly one of those subjects that brings the old colonel out in all of us, including Mike Atherton and, more satirically, The Old Batsman.

Strauss made some noises last night which indicated that England may start to re-consider, and it's about time they did, before someone's career is ended by a pre-match kickabout.

Best stick to what you're good at, lads (or something like that).

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