`Rewards of stale system'

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The Independent Online
Mike Atherton (England's captain): "We are fairly down at the moment and not playing especially good cricket.

"The new year starts in Sydney. It's up to us to make sure 1995 is a good one for us. We've got some good players in our side and it's up to us to show it.

"We need to pull our socks up, show commitment and guts and come out fighting.

"I've been through some lows but this is certainly one of them.

"You have to dig deep sometimes. One of the jobs of a captain is trying to set an example when the going is tough."

Mark Taylor (Australia's captain): "I'm a very satisfied captain. You can't do any better than that. But the job is not finished."

Fred Trueman (former England fast bowler and BBC Radio commentator): "I suggested three or four years ago that we should start getting some names together to teach people the game and I was laughed at. Two years ago, I was offered £65 a day to go down south and do some coaching, which I laughed at.

"I have said for years that if you want the best then you have to pay for it. All you have to do is look at our set-up in this country. We are reaping the rewards of our stale and backward system.

"We have allowed players with great ability, great knowledge of the game, to wander into the wilderness because we have not been willing to pay to keep their cricketing brains within the structure.

"I'm going to upset a few people but you have committees up and down the country who don't know what the game is about. A lot of them have nothing to offer the game whatsoever. Half of them wouldn't know a cricket ball from a tennis ball or a cricket batfrom a baseball bat."

Trueman also believes Mike Atherton was too inexperienced to be made England captain and that he would have been better off serving an apprenticeship under someone like Mike Gatting.