Sunday, August 7

‘Bazball’ – England Cricket happy with the results but not the phrase

‘Bazball’ hasn’t gone down well with English cricket officialdom… the phrase that is.

The results certainly have.

The head of England’s men’s cricket programme doesn’t like the “Bazball” but is surprised how quickly the test team’s new approach has clicked under coach Brendon McCullum and captain Ben Stokes.

England had won only one of their previous 17 tests when former Black Caps skipper McCullum was put in charge.

They then beat New Zealand three nil and the toppled India.

“I never thought it would work like this,” Key told BBC Test Match Special.

“There will be times when it won’t work, but for now it’s been fantastic to see.”

Key, however, felt the term ‘Bazball’ did not do justice to the hard work put in by McCullum and Stokes.

“I’m not mad on Bazball the phrase,” he said.

“It’s not something I particularly enjoy because it devalues what Ben and Brendon have done.”

Key said appointing McCullum was a gamble considering the former New Zealand captain had no red-ball coaching experience before taking up the England job.

“I saw it as though I had two choices,” Key said.

“Did the England team, the test team in particular, need someone who was going to be like a drill sergeant, a real hard taskmaster who’s going to be really tough on them and try and drive them in that way?

“I felt they needed someone to just take the pressure off them a little bit.

“I wanted someone who, with the talented players that we had, just freed them up a bit and got them out there to be the best players they possibly can be.”

“I’m not mad on Bazball the phrase,” he said.

“It’s not something I particularly enjoy because it devalues what Ben and Brendon have done.”

Key said appointing McCullum was a gamble considering the former New Zealand captain had no red-ball coaching experience before taking up the England job.

“I saw it as though I had two choices,” Key said.

“Did the England team, the test team in particular, need someone who was going to be like a drill sergeant, a real hard taskmaster who’s going to be really tough on them and try and drive them in that way?

“I felt they needed someone to just take the pressure off them a little bit.

“I wanted someone who, with the talented players that we had, just freed them up a bit and got them out there to be the best players they possibly can be.”

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