Strauss aims for United success


England's director of cricket Andrew Strauss says he has lofty ambitions in terms of developing a successful team culture, saying he looks to the likes of Manchester United under Alex Ferguson, and the All Blacks, for inspiration.

Strauss has been fighting a heavy battle against public opinion since taking the top ECB job, having refused a call-up for batsman Kevin Pietersen, which did not go down well with fans who felt KP's experience was required.

But Strauss says the controversial star's presence is detrimental to the team, he doesn't 'trust' him, and he wants players to develop a culture of respect, discipline, and team unity, like that displayed at Old Trafford when 'Fergie' was in charge.

Strauss said of an example he'd like to follow: "One that stands out is the All Blacks. There are a number of other examples of strong sporting cultures.

"Manchester United under Alex Ferguson, everyone knew what that stood for, what was expected, what was allowable and what wasn't allowable.

"That sort of philosophy is absolutely spot on. England players need to be unbelievably proud to be putting on that shirt.

"There's got to be a whole culture that's associated with that.

"That drives everything, and it has to be policed and bought into by the players themselves. That's the only way that the culture really works properly."

Strauss added in his Sunday Times column of Pietersen: "Regardless of form, I hope people can appreciate why it is still not right for Kevin Pietersen to come back into the team.

"Despite the depth of public feeling on this issue, the fact is that over the 16 months since his last appearance in an England shirt little has happened to heal the wounds, on both sides, from the fall-out over his omission.

"And the inflammatory comments made in his book about members of the team cannot easily be overlooked."