Thursday, 30 August 2012

Thanks Skip...

100 test matches, 7037 test runs, 21 centuries.  Captain of the most successful England cricket team in over forty years and a gentleman on and off the field.  Andrew Strauss retired yesterday and should walk away from cricket with his head held high.

I can remember him beaming with delight whilst celebrating his debut century at Lords in 2004.  That smile was on his face a lot throughout his career which has coincided with the most successful period of English cricket of my lifetime.  He was a major part of the all conquering side led by Michael Vaughan through 2004/05.  We all remember the fabulous Ashes victory, when Strauss scored two centuries but he also scored three tons in a series win in South Africa.  It was this that instilled the belief in all of us that the Ashes win was possible.

He was captain of the next great England team which made it to No. 1 in the rankings and was widely respected, a gentleman both on and off the field (with one notable exception).  I suppose personal highlights would have been fewer in this period but the 161 in an Ashes victory at Lords stands out amongst three years of team successes.  Whenever I watched him live I seemed to bring bad luck but I did see him score 55 against India in 2007 and saw part of his recent 141 against the West Indies.

He took over the team in the aftermath of a KP induced meltdown and his retirement followed another attack of the uncontrollable ego.

Enjoy your retirement Straussy and thanks!

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