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Teamwork ‘the key to England success’

The key to England’s resurgence as a force in world cricket lies not in individualism but rather on the team concept.

That’s the opinion of England legend Geoff Boycott who takes immense pride and satisfaction in seeing his country perched at the summit of Test cricket’s pecking order.

“We are the best team in the world but the emphasis is on team,” Boycott told

The Royal Gazette. “We probably don’t have great individuals like Sobers, the ‘Three W’s’ and the Brian Laras, but we do have a proper team. We have a really good team and that is our strength.”

A 4-0 whitewash over India on home soil earlier this summer capped England’s steady ascent to the top of Test cricket.

As well as being the number one Test team, England are also the current World Twenty20 champions and holders of the coveted Ashes Urn, having, much to Boycott’s delight, got the better of arch rivals Australia in the previous two Ashes series.

“I’ve been there when we lost 5-0 to Australia and so it’s nice now,” he said. “We have to enjoy it when we can. Let me tell you, because they gave us some hokey pokey when they beat us in Australia so whenever we wallop them we are going to give them some hokey pokey.”

Boycott predicts England will retain the Ashes when they host Australial in 2013.

“When they come to England we are going to beat them again,” he declared. “We are ready for them again and it can’t come quick enough.”

Boycott reckons that South Africa are the only team that could pose a serious threat to England’s Test superiority.The two teams are scheduled to face off in a three-match Test series next year.

“The team that can probably give us a run for our money is South Africa,” he said. “They are very strong with a lot of good individuals, good bowlers, batsmen and all-rounder (Jacques) Kallis.

“The shame is we only have three Tests when it ought to be five, which would be a better series.”

Boycott, the first England batsman to score 8,000 Test runs, is due to arrive in Bermuda today with the touring MCC.

During the two-week visit the Yorkshire man will serve as ambassador for the MCC. It is a role he is “honoured” to fulfil.

“It’s an honour being appointed as cricket ambassador for this tour because the MCC is the greatest cricket club in the world,” he said. “The MCC’s standards are so high and it is run by people with no vested interest.

“The ICC is made up of the chairmen of the 10 countries (full members) who all have their own agenda and a vested interest. But the MCC doesn’t.

“Our duty is to try and keep the game alive for the next generation just like parents try to do the best for their children.

“We have all enjoyed the game and had success. But our duty is not just to be selfish. Our duty, as well as enjoying the game, is to try and keep it alive and make it affordable and better for youngsters coming along. Everybody who loves cricket should try and keep it alive for the next generations.”

The touring MCC will be managed by former Sussex skipper Mike Griffith.

Griffith’s late father, Stewart, a past MCC secretary, was the first player to score his maiden first-class century (140) for England and the only man to do so on debut.

The late cricketer achieved the feat while playing as a makeshift opening batsman against the West Indies in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad in 1948.

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Published September 23, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated September 23, 2011 at 9:23 am)

Teamwork ‘the key to England success’

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