Pride is only way to save the World, says Wright

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The World XI have an opportunity to atone for their dire showing on Friday when they take on Australia in a six-day Test match in Sydney. But if the World XI are to show that they are not just in Australia to collect a nice fat cheque, they need to begin taking on more responsibility and start playing like a team. Comparing the approach of the two teams highlights why these contests should not be recognised as international matches. It is clear to see that playing for your country means far more than playing for what looks like a celebrity XI.

"We're looking for a hell of a lot more commitment and determination than we saw, particularly in the last match," said an angry Wright. "We have to play with pride in our personal and team performances."

Andrew Flintoff has been one of the biggest disappointments, taking 1-153 in 21.2 overs. The England all-rounder only bowled 4.2 overs in the final one-day game after being hit painfully on the right wrist, but he will be fit to play in Sydney. Flintoff's standing on the world scene since the Ashes series victory is quite a contrast to even a year ago.

"I would like to go back [to how it was]," Flintoff admitted. "One of the downsides is the attention on all of us, not just from the media but from the man in the street as well. It has been a bizarre few weeks. I am looking forward to the day it dies down. Maybe if I start playing poorly nobody will be interested.

"John Wright said to take the boos as a compliment, quite a strange thing to say but I didn't know what to expect when we got here. I am just going out there and playing, and the Australian public have been great."

At the conclusion of the Test, Flintoff will return home briefly before joining up with his England team-mates and jetting off to Pakistan. Initially there were fears that the earthquake in north-east Pakistan may cause England's three-Test, five one-day tour to be cancelled, but these have been dismissed by officials from both countries.