A hot reception for Strauss?

2009-11-05 11:30

Johann de Jager

Bloemfontein – The England cricket team has closed ranks around skipper Andrew Strauss on the eve of their Pro20 internationals against the Proteas.

This development comes after Strauss again found himself in the firing line this week for his refusal to agree to a runner for his South African counterpart, Graeme Smith, in the recent clash between the sides in the Champions Trophy tournament.

Smith, who fought a lone battle to no avail with 141 runs, asked for a runner after struggling with cramp.

The South African captain warned on Wednesday that Strauss can expect a hot reception when the first Twenty20 clash is played in Johannesburg next Friday.

English all-rounder Luke Wright said that the visitors would not pay any attention to the latest shots fired in the psychological war.

“We concentrate on our preparation rather than take notice of that,” Wright told Sport24.

“There is always needle between top cricketing nations, whether the incident will be an issue or not. South Africa are always in your face and it’s going to be a heck of a series.”

While the 24-year-old all-rounder has already been earmarked to fill the big shoes of Andrew Flintoff, it is the Proteas’ Jacques Kallis that he looks up to.

“Flintoff and I don’t have much in common. He is more than six feet tall and bowls at 145km/h, while I’m shorter and cannot nearly generate that pace,” said Wright.

“Kallis is probably one of the great all-rounders – someone to whom everybody looks up.

“He has performed well for South Africa over the years and is still doing it. As a young player you strive to be like him. Hopefully I can achieve what he has.”

While he views the Proteas as the favourites, he believes South Africa can potentially come off second best over the next 12 weeks.

“South Africa are the top team in the word with obvious strengths,” said Wright, who is also set for his test debut next month.

“They are also a good fielding side, have a good batting line-up and fantastic bowlers. But if we play the way we know we can, they can be beaten, as they were in the Champions Trophy.”

England reached the semifinal stage of the tournament after beating the Proteas by 22 runs.

However, the English lost the game against arch-rivals Australia, something they are still struggling to come to terms with.

“We probably surprised people by progressing that far in the tournament. We now have to try and build on that. We have an excellent chance if our preparation goes according to plan.”

English talisman and star batsman Kevin Pietersen will arrive in South Africa on Tuesday. He has just recovered from a persistent heel injury and will therefore miss the touring team’s first warm-up game against the Eagles on Friday.


  • Maggie - 2009-11-05 12:14

    Why is Smith talking the talk again? The Proteas do so much better when he keeps his mouth shut. Last time he played oz, he couldn't stop talking and the team failed. This year it was the opposite. Last time he played against the poms on home soil he had women problems and it affected his form. Unfortunately it looks like lightning is striking twice.

  • trainer - 2009-11-05 12:25

    A runner for cramp? Maybe if the team was fitter there would be no reason for silly excuses. It is not Strauss's fault Smith doesn't train.

  • Voice of Reason - 2009-11-05 12:34

    Such a shame the ignorance of the Saffer public over the cramp issue. Laws of Cricket state you dont get a runner for cramps. What next? A mathematics professor to help you work out Duckworth Lewis? Get over yourself, and stop trying to be as butch as the Aussies, cos you jsut end up looking like little girls!!!

  • Chappies - 2009-11-05 13:11

    Maybe if Graeme stopped chewing so much gum through his innings , he might not get so dehydrated. Off the topic , id like to see Riley Rossouw (Eagles) open with Smith in 50 over game.

  • brit - 2009-11-05 13:19

    Geoffrey Boycott: Technically it was valid but I would have allowed a runner. I understand that Andrew said cramps were not an injury, rather a fitness thing. I think that's very marginal. The guy didn't have cramps when he started the match and that is the important issue to me. In the spirit of the game I would have allowed him a runner. Because in the same principle, when Owais Shah came to play a Test in Mumbai a few years ago, he got cramps in his hand. He has a problem from time to time. And he was allowed to retire and come back later. What is the difference there? I know there was the collision between Angelo Mathews and Graham Onions and Strauss brought the guy back. Andrew is a pretty good guy really. He is easy natured and I was surprised - put it that way - that he didn't allow Graeme Smith to have a runner. I thought that definitely would have been in the spirit of the game. If you start a match with an injury, if you feel someone is hedging their bets and it goes for while batting or fielding, I think you have every right as a captain to refuse a runner. When somebody starts fully fit and something goes wrong with the body, I think it would be better for the spirit of cricket to allow him a runner.

  • gert - 2009-11-05 13:21

    Voice of Reason & Trainer any fool can see that you two idiots have never ever in your pathetic lives played a physical sport. Please google cramping & when you two idiots visit the doctor please ask him to explain how one gets cramps. And when you two idiots have the necessary facts about cramping then you can make idiotic comments.

  • Butch the pansies - 2009-11-05 14:46

    Can't see the poms winning any game. Maybe a 20/20 game, as we know it's a total lottery. Maybe they should stick to football or beachball, or what ever they call it. Oh, that's right water aerobics!! Go Biffie!!!!

  • Magda Streak - 2009-11-05 16:37

    Strauss commented on Smith's conditioning - He, (Strauss) is never at the crease long enough to know about batting and conditioning.

  • Lionel Fuchs - 2009-11-06 10:20

    The fact is, Straus is a tw@t and England will come short in this series. South Africa had no chance of winning that game because everyone collapsed around Smith, why NOT allow him a runner, shows a bit of class. But thats something England dont have, never have had. Claim to be the English gentleman, yet they all have the same hooligan mentality. Hope the Barmy tw@t army sits next to me at Wonderers....cant wait to comment when steyn rips one int Straus's helmet

  • adam - 2009-11-06 10:23

    Understand that what goes around comes around. I hope that if strauss can get past batting for 10 overs and he cramps in the heat and he gets refused a runner then we will see a hot series and the English whining again.

  • Andrew - 2009-11-06 10:58

    Strauss should have allowed Biff a runner finish en klaar...he had been on the field for 90 odd overs, who cares what the rule says, many times you see "the spirit of the game" overturn a rule, except that day, as they say Mother cricket has a way of biting you on the ass, so look forward to that Straussy and maybe you need to bat longer to experience what cramps are like !! I hope the poms get stuffed and I hope biff doesnt give them any leeway at all !!!

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