Strauss Retires as England Lose a True Gent
It’s the end of an era for English cricket. The most successful England captain of recent years, Andrew Strauss, has retired amid scandal, lack of form, but also vast amounts of public affection.
He put the retirement down to his own lack of runs. And that is certainly part of it. But certainly some of the blame for Strauss’ departure can be placed at the feet of Kevin Pietersen.
It wasn’t the way it should have ended. Strauss played in 100 test matches, and captained the side in two memorable Ashes series. Winning both at home and on Australian soil. The first time England had won down under in 24 years. An achievement in itself that merits a kind of immortality.
He went on a remarkable run as captain with seven consecutive home test series victories in a row. And captained England to number one in the test rankings.
He also helped right the ship, along with Andy Flower, after the disastrous captaincy of Kevin Pietersen.
So fitting, if that’s the right word, that Strauss’ reign should end amid another KP scandal. Less than complimentary text messages, about Strauss, sent to friends in the South African dressing room by Kevin Pietersen were the least of Strauss’ worries. It merely highlighted an already strained relationship between Pietersen and the rest of his team mates.
But there were signs in Strauss’ management of the latest KP furore that he was no longer as cooly adept at managing the egos of his dressing room. KP is probably very annoying as a team mate. But ways must be found to manage your most electric, and combustible, talent.
Couple this with a dip in his own form and Strauss’ departure became inevitable.
He scored more than 7,000 test runs and 21 centuries. It doesn’t gets better than that. He captained the side in 50 tests. And took England to the absolute summit of international cricket.
Alistair Cook will replace him as test captain.
Andrew Strauss will be missed. England may or may not reach the heights achieved under his captaincy again. But whatever happens, English cricket has lost one of the true gentlemen of the game.
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