English cricket June 18, 2007

Botham spirit alive and well in Durham

In The Daily Telegraph, Simon Hughes writes that Sir Ian Botham's greatest quality, his indefatigability, has been matched in the last 15 years by Durham themselves.

The new ground, once just an expanse of park football pitches, began to take shape in 1994 and is now a venue of high standard with a team to match. Currently third in division one of the championship, Durham have only to overcome Essex in the Friends Provident on Wednesday to reach their first-ever Lord's final. It would be no more than the enterprising, loyal people who run the club deserve.

Read more here.

In The Guardian, Steve James welcomes Andrew Strauss' first half-century of the series against West Indies, surmising that the England opener has kicked away the unwelcome 'Mr Negative' from his head.

Strauss recently talked of "concentrating on the method of scoring runs". It sounds trite but it is so important for a struggling batsman. People are demanding runs and you start to listen too much. The result becomes more important than the process. You forget that runs can only be made by taking one ball at a time.

Jamie Alter is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo