The test series against New Zealand starts on Wednesday evening so Chris Silverwood and Joe Root will be preparing their first team talks of this new era. Will they make the squad sing an updated rendition of “Onward Gower’s Soldiers, Marching Into War” – the infamous motivational technique used by Ted Dexter ahead of the 1989 Ashes – or will they simply find some inspiring quotes from sportsmen and sportswomen to rally the troops? My money is probably on the latter.
So with this in mind, here are my 10 favourite inspirational cricket quotes to make you all go ‘ahhhh’ and ‘ooooh’ whilst stroking your chin philosophically. I’ve added a couple of funnies at the end in case it all gets too thought provoking.
“Every batsman surveys the field before taking strike, and usually the fielders get imprinted on his mind. They can almost see every fielder in their mind’s eye. But in my head, I don’t see the fielders. I only see the gaps!” – Ricky Ponting.
“Captaincy is 90 percent luck and 10 percent skill. But don’t try it without that 10 percent.” – Richie Benaud.
“Cricket is a most precarious profession; it is called a team game but, in fact, no one is so lonely as a batsman facing a bowler supported by ten fieldsmen and observed by two umpires to ensure that his error does not go unpunished” – John Arlott.
“One-day cricket is an exhibition. Test cricket is an examination” – Henry Blofeld.
“I think we judge talent wrong. What do we see as talent? We judge talent by people’s ability to strike a cricket ball. The sweetness and the timing – that’s all we see. But things like determination, courage, discipline, temperament, these are also talent” – Rahul Dravid.
“Cricket is full of theorists who can ruin your game in no time” – Ian Botham.
“No one smells the leather in defence better than Pujara. You can ask him if it’s Christian Dior or Armani” – Ravi Shastri.
“The English are not very spiritual people, so they invented cricket to give them some idea of eternity” – George Bernard Shaw.
“It’s not over till the fat laddie spins” – The Sun’s famous headline about Shane Warne.
“A fart competing with thunder.” Graham Gooch looks back at England’s hopeless 1990-91 Ashes team.
I’d love to hear your favourite inspirational cricket quotes too. I did a little research for this piece and found that cricket didn’t have as many profound quotes as I’d thought it would – especially as cricket is such a cerebral game with a long history.
Most of the supposedly inspirational cricket quotes I found online were too predictable or cheesy to include here. In fact, if you Google ‘cricket quotes’ most of the ones that come up are just banal things uttered by Sachin Tendulkar. In other words, they were ordinary things said by great cricketers rather than great things said by ordinary cricketers. In fact, that last sentence was probably more profound than most of the stuff I unearthed.
Don’t be afraid to broaden it out and add quotes from other sports in the comments beneath too. My personal favourites are Evander Holyfield’s “It’s not the size of the man but the size of his heart that matters”, and Martina Navratilova’s “Whoever said ‘it’s not whether you win or lose’ probably lost”. Somehow I can imagine Steve Waugh or Allan Border saying the latter.
Don’t forget to check out yesterday’s preview of the first test.
PS Forgive me if you see ads for The Labour Party on this site today. Our ads are run by a 3rd party network so they’re somewhat out of my control. TFT is proudly politically neutral so we do not endorse these ads whatsoever. We have asked our network to remove all political ads (indeed they had set up a filter to exclude anything labelled as political) but somehow these Labour ads are sneaking through the net. Hmmmmm. I’ve ask our partners to ban these ads immediately.
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