England v Pakistan, 2nd ODI, Headingley September 11, 2010

We don't hold grudges - Trott


Jonathan Trott has insisted England don't hold any 'grudges' against Pakistan despite the home side's impressive form being overshadowed by the spot-fixing allegations which have dominated the last two weeks and will linger until long after the tour has finished.

Since the controversy erupted England have completed a 3-1 Test series victory, won the two Twenty20 internationals and taken a 1-0 lead in the one-day series, but still the talk is dominated by the fall-out after the News of the World investigation which led to Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir being questioned by police and suspended by the ICC.

The three players arrived back in Pakistan last night - slipping quickly out of the back door of Lahore airport - but that doesn't mean the issue has left the current series with Wahab Riaz, the left-arm quick, set to be interviewed next week by police in London and Kamran Akmal under the scanner for previous series.

As England defended their total at Chester-le-Street, Trott was involved in an ugly exchange with Kamran which required intervention from umpire Billy Doctrove, but Trott said it had nothing to do with the off-field issues and that England never use the controversy as a subject for sledging.

"It was just a few things that go on on the field. That's it really," he said. "I said a few words, and he was saying a few - and the umpires got in the middle of it, and made a mountain out of a molehill really.

"Whatever is going on in the background is none of our business. We don't talk about it really, on the field. We don't have any grudges, or anything. We just play cricket. The last thing you want is to be dragged down on the field. It's important we project a good image and play within the rules, hard but fair."

"As far as the England team are concerned, we go about our job - in another four very important games," he added. "I myself feel as though, whatever happened in the Test series, I've moved on and am looking forward to this one-day series.

"Whatever has happened is a closed case for us. All our jobs are just to play against 11 guys on the field against us. I don't think we can take off-the-field stuff on to it."

Shahid Afridi was in the dark over what words were exchanged, but said that he enjoyed playing an aggressive brand of cricket so long as certain lines weren't crossed by the players. "I'm afraid I don't know what went on. But I think it's part of the game playing good, aggressive cricket. I always enjoy cricket like this, it's good. But in a positive way, not using bad words."

Trott really doesn't have to resort to verbals on the field because his run-scoring is speaking for itself at the moment, but he could be forgiven for feeling a little bitter as his prolific form remains something of an afterthought. He has had a memorable summer which, in normal circumstances, with an Ashes tour looming, would be the major topic of conversation.

His outstanding 184 at Lord's was completed just a few hours before the initial spot-fixing story erupted and was quickly consigned to footnotes rather than backpage leads and he continued his form with 69 in the opening ODI at Chester-le-Street. Trott began the season with 226 against Bangladesh at Lord's then, having been recalled for the one-day series against the same team, hit 94 at Bristol and 110 at Edgbaston before his Man-of-the-Series display against Pakistan where he notched 404 runs in a bowler-dominated contest.

His one-day chance has come largely through Kevin Pietersen's absence both from the Bangladesh series and the current one against Pakistan. The No. 3 spot is Pietersen's home in the one-day game, but Trott is making a strong case to fill that crucial berth. Pietersen's one-day form had been poor long before he was dropped and although it's impossible to believe England could have a successful World Cup without him, Trott's success means he won't just waltz straight back in without pressure.

"There are quality players out of the side," Trott said, who is also up against Warwickshire team-mate Ian Bell for a long-term place in the one-day unit. "I have the opportunity to bat at three at the moment, and it's up to me to do the best I can. The last few knocks haven't been the worst. I'm pretty happy personally with how things have gone in the last few games. But I'm always looking to improve on areas I can work on.

"The guys know competition for places is really good, and in a good way. It's not people looking over their shoulders, but they know to play for this England team you have to be at the top of your game."

Andrew McGlashan is assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on September 12, 2010, 16:13 GMT

    I myself feel as though, whatever happened in South Africa, I've moved on and am looking forward to this England team. Apparently, Trott has a template ready for general purpose use. :P :P

  • Adrian on September 12, 2010, 8:43 GMT

    Play nicely boys and girls, or I might have to take my ball home, and you know you wouldn't like that.

  • Amahl on September 12, 2010, 8:42 GMT

    Why would they hold grudges? Fairly speaking, England have been far from spectacular in this series against Pakistan and the match fixing cloud as well as the subsequent poor form of the Pakistanis has only served to mask their frailties. They have defeated Pakistan convincingly and that is certainly granted. But come the OD series in Australia, I don't feel that the slip ups they have been showing will be greeted with as much clemency.

  • Dummy4 on September 12, 2010, 7:32 GMT

    well we dont need anymore abuse we are facing very much already thank you so much

  • Asim on September 12, 2010, 7:31 GMT

    "It's important we project a good image and play within the rules, hard but fair" - very well said but do you really mean these words ?!?!? I doubt that because if you played fair cricket then you should have walked backed to the pavilion when you snicked the ball very clearly when you were 30 odd in the 1st odi against Pakistan,just like Morgan did when he played fair cricket. So please try to practice what you preach :)

  • Malcolm on September 12, 2010, 2:37 GMT

    @Dharam. As an England supporter living in Canada who has a relative playing in the England side, I must ask where in heaven's name have you been these last weeks. Never in my entire life have I ever read or heard such an upside-down, convoluted analysis of any situation. Demons under every bed and dastardly plots under every table cloth?. Incidentally, what in heaven's name has Trott's background got to do with this current situation?? I hope you were trying satire? If so it was poorly conceived and even worse in its execution. This is a tragedy for cricket world wide and while there is no guilty verdict yet, neither is there an innocent one. Wait for the enquiry to conclude before making such inane predictions. As to the notion of a conspiracy by the PCB I will not deem it worthy of a specific response other than to say that if indeed they are capable of such actions then they are indeed as corrupt as others have suggested.

  • paul on September 12, 2010, 0:36 GMT

    @Agus Kallis After that unreadable paragraph you've typed 'don't you feel shame', and what does Scotland Police have to do with the current situation. The Akmal brothers seem to throw the biggest tantrums during games,you get the impression they think they are exempt from the oppositions sledging,which is funny because they are the 2 biggest culprits in the Pakistani side.

  • Dummy4 on September 11, 2010, 22:08 GMT

    It is such a master stroke played by PCB ...they instigated the whole issue of spot/match fixing ...so every one can forget the PATHETIC performance by the Pakistan cricket team ....they made scape goats....out of the 3 players...n am sure..since there was no fixing...the said 3 will be back (lack of evidence)...when the worlds forgets the humiliation faced by the team on the field... HATS OF PCB

  • Dummy4 on September 11, 2010, 19:11 GMT

    I assume what Trott might told to Kamran "Don't play aggressive cricket like this, if you do then Scotland police will inquire you again and our English media will send someone with hidden camera to take video footage when you goto to*l*t hehe", i don't know when this guys are going to treat nicely to the opposite side when they play some good cricket, like his team mate done in test he may curl the ball to his hand if he do bat well in the next game, this guy don't get chance to play in his own country (SA) and play for another country, didn't he feel shame??????

  • Patrick on September 11, 2010, 19:06 GMT

    "It's important we project a good image and play within the rules, hard but fair": Trott's comments should be applauded. A very good, if slightly stodgy, batsman who is a credit to the game.

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