Gatting laughs off Aussie 'backlash' talk

Australia

Former England skipper Mike Gatting, who was recently appointed the new president of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), has laughed off suggestions that Australia will provide much resistance during the Ashes in November.

Former England skipper Mike Gatting, who was recently appointed the new president of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), has laughed off suggestions that Australia will provide much resistance during the Ashes in November.

England won the leg in the UK three-nil, and the Aussie players and media have been predicting a 'backlash' on home soil, saying England will find the pitches Down Under a much tougher prospect.

But Gatting was amused by such suggestions, saying on the BBC: "What are they (Australia) going to backlash us (England) with? Have they found another Shane Warne or a Glenn McGrath?

"Yes, the Aussies did improve over the course of the series but you would expect them to improve because Australians are proud cricketers.

"They had a good bowling attack but sadly their batsmen let them down. We had the quality to win the important moments, with the ball or with the bat.

"We were quite consistent, but the Australians had inconsistencies throughout. If the two teams are pretty much the same, I wouldn't expect the result to be any different."

As for his new role at Lord's, Gatting said he was looking forward to improving the lot of cricketers close to home in London, adding to the outreach programmes around the world.

He said: "It is an amazing honour to have been asked to serve as president at the best cricket club in the world.

"I grew up not far from Lord's in Willesden. One of my big things will be to get the MCC to really reach out into the local community.

"We have been to communities all round the world, helping out with Afghanistan and Sri Lanka – and doing huge amounts to boost the game in other people's back yards.

"Sadly we've never really looked at our back yard and seen how we can help people in places like Kilburn, Willesden, Islington, Camden, Paddington and Wembley.

"So we've appointed a community officer to try to make those links with the local area much stronger. We need to show we are interested in them and care about them."

Latest