On the Front Foot: Strauss is needed as an administrator not a broadcaster

Where have all the captains gone? Gone to be pundits every one. Long time passing. What the England captain does after he has left the job, is always what fascinates after the plaudits have been paid.

So it is with Andrew Strauss, who will be remembered as one of the most accomplished of all 79 men who have led England in a Test match, from Gubby Allen to Norman Yardley in alphabetical order and James Lillywhite to Alastair Cook in chronological sequence.

Suggestions that Strauss will stand as the Conservative candidate in the imminent Corby by-election can be taken as fanciful. True, he donated a golf day at a party fundraiser last year, but that was hardly an application to take to the hustings.

Over the years it has become almost de rigueur to take up a role in the media. Of the 24 men officially appointed as captain since Len Hutton retired, 11 have become cricket writers or broadcasters. Eight still grace our airwaves regularly.

Few have found other roles in the game, though Ted Dexter and Ray Illingworth were pundits and then became chairman of selectors. Colin Cowdrey became an ICC bigwig, Graham Gooch is the England batting coach, Mike Gatting works for the ECB, Mike Brearley became a psychotherapist and is still, though he now also chairs MCC's world cricket committee.

The lure of the microphone is obvious, but international cricket also needs former international cricketers at its hub. Less glamorous (and financially rewarding) though it may be, the future of the game depends partly on insiders' expertise and insight. With his booming, articulate voice Strauss could easily find a place in a commentary box. But he has strong opinions about how the great game should be run. When the dust has settled, it would be wonderful to see him help lead there as he led the England team.

Pakistan in spin over Ajmal omission

There has been a kerfuffle about the nominations for the Test cricketer of the year. Pakistan are miffed that Saeed Ajmal has not made the shortlist of three, after taking 72 wickets in the qualifying period at 24.29 each, and are threatening to boycott the awards. They smell corruption. The ICC point out that the procedure for making the awards is strictly audited after a shortlist is voted on by "an academy of 32 highly credentialed cricket personalities from around the world".

As one of the panel, it is easy to confirm that nobody tried to influence my vote. As it happens, the nominations from this direction contained Ajmal's name, along with those of Michael Clark and Kumar Sangakkara, who made the shortlist. Ajmal lost out to Vernon Philander, who had an amazing start to his career. It is a matter of judgement and OTFF disagrees with his fellow panellists.

A few choice words

Talking of shortlists, nominations are out for the Cricket Writers' Club book of the year. It is an eclectic mix, featuring a history of Australia, a highly personal memoir about being a cricketer's father, the intriguing story of England's rise and corking biographies of Tony Greig and Fred Trueman. They show that, while all book sales are plummeting, cricketing literature remains of high quality.

Amla drops into top spot

Hashim Amla is unquestionably the cricketer of the summer. But how thin is the line between success and failure. Before yesterday he had scored 817 international runs at an average of 116.71. England dropped him six times at a cost of 539 runs – so it could have been 278 at 39.71.

s.brenkley@independent.co.uk

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum