Dresssing Room -- Book Extract

Dresssing Room -- Book Extract

Post by Mayank Go » Fri, 25 Jun 1993 08:17:16

Hi all,

Here is another extract from "The Art of Captaincy" by Mike Brearley. In this
he discusses the 'Dressing Room'. Obviously, I do not have the permission of
the publishers to reproduce this here, but I hope in the larger good
of cricket, the publisher will pardon me :-).

Here goes....

*********************** B E G I N *********************************
"The dressing-room can become so cosy that a man forced to leave it
to go to the wicket may long to return, as to the womb. To
counteract this, and to feed his competitiveness, Phil Edmonds
decided one year to sit apart from the rest of us when he was
next in.

I have always felt strongly that the dressing-room is the one place
in the ground where a player can be totally frank about all sorts of
potential 'bete noires'-umpires, pressmen, opposition. Therefore, if
he wants to throw his bat or slam a door in dissappointment or
disgust, this is the place for him to do so. I may prefer him not to;
but he should feel free to act as he wishes here, as opposed to on
the field. Consequently, I tended to guard the privacy of the
dressing-room, especially in test matches, where every action is
scrutinised. Fletcher was, I noticed in India in 1981-2, more
generous to outsiders than I was; while Benaud, a pressman himself,
made a point of making writers and broadcasters welcome in the
dressing-room. I clung to the idea that the dressing-room was a
sanctuary for players in which they could let off steam, however
unreasonably or even maliciously, without risk of unwelcome
publicity. On tour, or in tests at home, there were precious few
such places.

Possibly my attitude was resented in some quarters. In 1977, in
Bahawalpur, we were honoured by an unannounced visit by a top
Pakistani general, complete with extended family and entourage.
It was perhaps fortunate that our manager Ken Barrington, whose
father had served in an earlier army in the Indian sub-continent,
intuitively realised that we were on thin ice if we tried to eject
the martial law administrator for the province.

Some of these visits, however unwelcome at the time, are  a source
of amu***t in retrospect. Many years ago, we used to have tea-time
calls at Lord's from a retired bat-maker. The players treated him
kindly, in the way people sometimes have with those they adopt
or make an exception for, and we used to draw up a comfortable
armchair for him in a favourable place for watching the game. But
he became proprietorial about his chair, and once asked the then
England captain, M. J. K. Smith, to give it up to him. He also liked
the tea, but was prone to spilling the entire cupful into a nearby
cricket bag.

Nor are outsiders always tactful in what they say. They are inclined
to ask you breezily what *you're* doing here, or comment in an
infuriatingly bland tone that 'you're back early', when you have
just been dismissed for a low score."

****************************  E N D ************************************
Does anybody remember any 'outrageous' incidents from the dressing room?

Hope you enjoyed reading this,

Mayank [Thinking about Gatting] Gour!

--
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