The verbals: sports quotes of 1994

`My worst hour's cricket'
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I don't want players who need a shoulder to cry on. I don't think players need that kind of help. I want players strong enough to go out and stuff the Aussies. Ray Illingworth, England chairman of selectors, who dismissed the team's "spiritual adv iser",the Rev Andrew Wingfield-Digby.

There are some areas that need improving: middle-order batting, bowling and wicketkeeping. Illingworth on the small task facing him.

Mike Atherton is an intelligent captain with a good cricket brain, I'd just like to see him use his imagination more. Illingworth on the England captain.

The worst hour's cricket I have ever experienced. Atherton, on England's innings of 46 all out against West Indies in the third Test, in Trinidad.

Ambrose, he the West Indian Minister of Defence. Port of Spain taxi driver to reporter after Curtley Ambrose's 6 for 22.

Rest in Pieces. Banner pinned to Queen's Park Oval crease after the match.

Haven't you got any other bowlers in England? Are these the best ones available? Andy Roberts, former West Indian fast bowler and now a Test selector, to English journalists.

I don't suppose I can call you a lucky bleeder when you're on 349. Angus Fraser, England bowler, after Brian Lara had nearly found an edge on his way to a Test record score of 375.

A couple of seasons in England would be a great help to my technique. Brian Lara gets the wrong idea about the English game.

I suppose it was an error of judgement of some magnitude and it makes me look a bit silly. The better he gets, the more he will haunt me. Gordon Hollins, committee member of West Lothian cricket club, who turned down Lara as a professional in 1988, following the West Indian's world-record 501.

I'll probably have a good sleep in the car on the way home. Graham Gooch, after becoming the first Englishman of the summer to score 1,000 first class runs.

We will be very disappointed if we do not beat New Zealand - no disrespect to them but if we can't beat a side like New Zealand then we have got problems. Illingworth, before the drawn second Test.

The action of having dirt in his pocket in order to dry his hands was foolish in the extreme and cannot be condoned, particularly when done by a Test captain. Peter Burge, match referee, on the Atherton controversy following the first Test against South Africa.

We're over here for the first time in 29 years and have won a Test match but all we're getting is what the England captain is supposed to have had in his pocket. Allan Donald, South African fast bowler, after his side's 356-run demolition of England.

We have to be seen to be whiter than white. Things have gone on in Test cricket - not England but other sides - and they have got away with it. Illingworth.

If I had the chance again I'd wipe my hand on the ground. Atherton.

We're here to play good cricket and I'm not in favour of sledging. We won't start it. But I'm buggered if we're going to stand there and let the Aussies walk all over us. Australia have been fairly good at dishing it out and we're prepared to give it back. Atherton, before the tour.

The Academy kids might just finish it early anyway. Ian MacDonald, Australian Cricket Board spokesman, after Atherton had spoken of reducing England's game against the Australian Cricket Academy from three days.

It's unforgivable for an international side to be beaten like that. There is a deathly hush in the dressing room. But you can't say they weren't trying. They just weren't good enough. Keith Fletcher, England tour manager, after defeats to the Academy in the two rearranged one-day games.

WHY? Message skywritten over North Sydney Oval after the second defeat.

It could be 10 years before the English catch us up. Greg Chappell, former Australian captain.