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'Play Hard, But Respected Cricket' - Giles Message to England

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: January 13, 2019, 6:14 PM IST
'Play Hard, But Respected Cricket' - Giles Message to England

Image Credit: AFP

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Ashley Giles, the England and Wales Cricket Board's new Director of Cricket, wants England to be the best side in the world, both on and off the field.

The former left-arm spinner, who took over the role from Andrew Strauss, reckoned that the team should aim to be respected by the fans beyond the field.

"We still want people to play cricket hard," said Giles. "We don’t want bland cricket played out on the field. What is that line? It is hard sometimes to know what it is, but I want us to play tough cricket on the pitch.

"But as much as I want us to be the best team in the world, I also want us to be the most respected team in the world over how we go about things. That is going to be challenged. There are going to be things that pop up that would go against that, but it is part of my role to manage that.

"The process in my role of consistently challenging and checking what we are doing and what the dressing room is doing is important. I can’t do it on my own. I’m not going to be in a tracksuit on the ground.

"We have some very good people in there I need to rely on and tap into. Again, how we play and how we are viewed outwardly is important to Tom (Harrison) and to Colin (Graves), but also really important to me is how we are seen and respected."

England are at present No.1 in the ICC ODI Rankings and are early favourites to lift the 2019 World Cup later this year. While the current squad is arguably the best all-round outfit in the world, they could further be strengthened if upcoming fast-bowler Jofra Archer becomes available for selection.

The pacer is expected to complete his eligibility for selection within the coming months but will have little time to make his case for a World Cup berth. Giles revealed that Archer will be one of the names in the reckoning.

"It will be exciting when Jofra is available," said Giles. "Any guys who bowl 90mph-plus are going to create interest and get people out of their seats. How we look after them and when we introduce them is a difficult balance to strike sometimes but it is important.

"I’ll have to speak to Ed (Smith), and I’ll need to get some other opinions as well. I need to know what the coaches are thinking, and the captains.

"It is a big year and it would be a bit tough on the lad to think he is going to be some sort of messiah coming into the team. But he is an exciting cricketer and his hat will be in the ring.

"His skills are good, and it is a massive one-day year. At the same time, we’ve got a group of players who’ve done a lot to get us to this point and have performed very well for England. So competition for those final places is going to be strong."
First Published: January 13, 2019, 6:14 PM IST
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