Nasser Hussain has been instructed to spend more time with his wife and family. It is nothing to do with the usual reason for those in the public eye dashing to their loved ones – ie, the sack – but a genuine effort to give England's captain a proper break as the team pitched up in the holiday resort of Queenstown yesterday ready to begin the Test leg of their tour.
"I don't think people appreciate his job is very demanding mentally as well as physically," said the coach, Duncan Fletcher. "There are two huge aspects to his job and I think it's very important he gets away and clears his mind and starts thinking about cricket again when we get back to Christchurch."
Hussain, along with Michael Vaughan and the wicketkeeper James Foster, will definitely miss the first of two warm-up matches, starting on Saturday. His wife, Karen, and son, Jacob, have joined him here. Hussain was in the team hotel yesterday, but paying his colleagues no attention. Instead, he sat in a corner nursing Jacob in his arms.
"I have told him I don't want to see him around," Fletcher said. "I'm not sure what he's doing but he may be having a few days away with his wife. He hasn't said to me that he's tired but I'm trying to look forward and pre-empt things. We don't want him to say in a few weeks' time that he's tired."
Hussain has led England in 11 one-day matches, played in two countries in 11 different cities in 38 days. It is their busiest schedule ever. Marcus Trescothick will captain the side against Otago. After that match, he too may need a rest, having opened the batting in all 11 matches and also kept wicket in the last four of them.Reuse content