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Tough conversations

26th June 2019 –  Tough conversations are needed after England lost to Australia in the ODI Men’s World Cup.

I’ve just listened to test match special on the way back to the office.

Jonny Bairstow was interviewed and he thought England were unlucky yesterday in the first 10 overs yesterday.  The match he’s referring to was the crushing defeat to Australia in the ODI World Cup.

This was followed by a really interesting conversation between Graham Swan and Jeremy Coney (?) about the reaction from the England camp about their loss yesterday. Morgan’s interview straight after the loss was protective of his team, their bowling and their performance. That could be good leadership, but I hope their private conversations are more honest.

Swann was talking about the need for there to be tough conversations between players about performance. The kind of conversations that can split a dressing room, but which have to get to the truth about performance.

It may well be that this England team have been so successful that they may not have needed to have these type of conversations, and it may be seen as high risk now at this stage of the tournament. It may me think how we soften what we are saying with our feedback, because we don’t want to upset our colleagues, and how that can be exactly the wrong thing to do.

My concern for them is that while they are saying they were unlucky yesterday, that’s a very difficult thing to own. I can’t own my luck, but I can own doing the right things to make sure I perform – like bowling in the right way for the conditions and the opponents.  As a player you can own that.

So come on England, I’m rooting for you as I always do, and always will unless you start sandpapering the ball.

Have that chat, own your performance, as Geoffrey Boycott says – don’t kid the man in the mirror.

When you get what you want in your struggle for melf ( money )
And the world makes you king for a day
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
And see what that man has to say.

For it isn’t your father, or mother, or wife
Whose judgment upon you must pass
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.

He’s the fellow to please – never mind all the rest
For he’s with you, clear to the end
And you’ve passed your most difficult, dangerous test
If the man in the glass is your friend.

You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.


Diane Banister