30 June 2009

Vaughan to retire

David Keen has a post about Michael Vaughan's retirement. I think that Vaughan really brought something special to the England captaincy after what seemed like many years in the wilderness of international cricket. The main reason I rate him as a captain is the way in which his players have always talked about him as a leader. Cricket is one of those sports where there is a lot going on under the surface. In particular, field placements and bowling strategies often go un-noticed by the casual observer, but this was where Vaughan was strongest. He seemed to have an intuition for the game, and when to make those very subtle changes which would bring about a wicket. Then there was his batting. I always thought he looked massive at the crease. The bat seemed tiny in his hands, and when he was on form, he was a joy to watch; a truly graceful player. Finally, I respected his conduct. He always seemed to say the right things, even when there was a tricky situation. He seemed to grasp the bigger picture in the game; something that Strauss seems to be able to do too. It's good that he's chosen to opt out rather than being forced to retire, and I hope he makes the move into TV or radio where he would have a lot to offer.

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