Home > ASHES 2009, CRICKET, MIND GAMES, SOPHIA GARDENS > Not Good Enough To Try Harder

Not Good Enough To Try Harder

Well, kids, after four years of bliss/stubborn refusal to acknowledge Ashes series that take place outside of this hemisphere, it’s on again. The Aussies are back, and this time we’re taking them on in my backyard – the picturesque, idyllic, and impossible-to-park-anywhere-near Sophia Gardens (assuming their more romantic name for the next 5 days to avoid a massive enviro-punch-up between Swalec, the sponsors of the stadium, and providers of the light by which I was weened, and N-Power, the sponsors of the Ashes, and providers of Fancy Dress Saturday). Finally we can stop talking about the increasingly inescapable (and occasionally preposterous) advertising, stop prevaricating about the impact of Brett Lee’s side, Steve Harmison’s mental state and Monty Panesar’s mind-numbing predictability, and get down to business. Here’s hoping that in ten hours time we’ll be discussing a series-defining performance from Andrew Strauss/KP/Jimmy Anderson, and that Pidgeon‘s already moving to qualify his traditional 5-0 prediction.

For now though, I thought I’d leave you with a word from Mr Frederick Flintoff, Guest Editor of this morning’s really rather good Sport Magazine Ashes Special, on the preponderance of mind games – specifically, why they don’t work on him: “You know what? I’m not good enough to try harder against somebody else – I try my best every time… I’m trying to win the Ashes. That’s hard enough.” There’s a lesson for all of us in the word’s of the nation’s favourite doughty Lancastrian (favourite, that is, unless he chooses to fall off a pedalo or break his alarm clock again), and if I wasn’t so excited about the Ashes, I’d go into it in some detail. As it is, suffice to say that none of us should be good enough to try harder – if we’re not giving it everything all of the time then we’re not doing our jobs, and things will go wrong.

Now. Back to the cricket. See you on the other side.
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