Pondering over his future, Ashley Giles spent some time at a camp for youngsters. While there, he said, “When you play at the highest level a lot, that love of the game is perhaps taken away from you because of the pressure on you and everything that goes with it…”
Is this Giles statement a throwback to the old era, when amateurs played cricket purely for pleasure? Have the times changed?
How many Australians and South Africans talk of enjoying playing the game? They seem to be more into enjoying the winning feeling, enjoying performing well, enjoying getting under the skin of the opposition, even enjoying the pressure of a tight finish… all performance oriented responses.
May be England can start a breakaway cricket league where the focus is on enjoyment, pleasure and entertainment? Where the results are not declared? Where people are paid for just landing up and feted for the attractiveness of their game independent of the outcome? Ah, Marcus Trescothick can play without pressure, Steve Harmison can grin widely. And yes, Giles can fancy a comeback.