HUSSAIN: WE NEED OUR OWN WILKINSON
Tuesday 25th November 2003
English cricket needs a superstar of the calibre of Jonny Wilkinson, former captain Nasser Hussain thinks.
The Essex batsman believes that, for England to be the best in the world, England must find a matchwinner who can beat even the best teams,
Hussain led to third in both Test and one-day international ratings but they suffered an early exit in the World Cup and failed to beat Australia in the Ashes series.
"If you get a superstar in your team like Wilkinson you can make a good side into a great one," said Hussain. "So there are chances, if you get things in the right place, for cricket, football, any sport.
"Make no mistake, the one thing any England team needs in any sport is a superstar, it just turns any side around."
Though Darren Gough and Andrew Caddick each topped 200 Test wickets, Hussain believes England have suffered in comparison with countries who have proven matchwinners who have become among the most successful bowlers of all time.
"For us, in the bowling department, if we had one genius, someone who could get you 400 Test wickets, it would lift the standard of the team. That is where the rugby team is fortunate that they have got one.
"If you look at Australia without Shane Warne or Sri Lanka without Muttiah Muralitharan you can see the difference. You just need to find one genius from somewhere."
Hussain, who hopes England's rugby triumph will inspire victories in other sports, admits that Ashes defeats live longest in the memory.
He added: "The two things that stand in people's memory are World Cups and Australia; the rugby boys were very fortunate that they got them both in one afternoon!
"We didn't and haven't and that is all we will be remembered for. They are the things I didn't put right as captain and they will be things that someone else will eventually have to put right. But until certain things are in place it won't happen.
"A lot of things need to happen, like finding bowlers who can take 10 wickets in matches regularly, before we are beating Australia and winning World Cups.
"The other day when I was sat there watching the final, it was a great feeling but it made me think what a shame it was we didn't do that in our World Cup. It would have been nice.
"But every time I have played cricket for England I have felt that the country is behind us. That is the thing you feel most, that you let people down and that is what we have done in World Cups.
"Most of us that have played would do anything to have that feeling they have now, going back as heroes. Just small things like going back to England after winning in Pakistan or here in Sri Lanka in 2001 was huge so to do what the rugby boys have done would beat any feeling.
"Winning the Ashes is similar, it would beat any feeling you could have."