England “Had Lot Of Selfish Characters Playing…”: Ex-Star’s Scathing Revelation

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Former England pacer Steve Harmison has hinted that quite a few senior players in the side did not contribute to the team spirit in the late 90s and early 2000s, but all that changed during the 2005 Ashes series, which the hosts won 2-1. Responding to former Australian quick Jason Gillespie’s assessment that he had noticed a big change in the England side during the 2005 Ashes, Harmison, who was part of the 2005 side, said that, “The difference between that and 2003, 2001 and 1999, 1997, was in 2005 we were a team.”

Gillespie had suggested that he had never seen such camaraderie in the England team during previous series between the two sides.

“I noticed a big difference in the England side in the ’05 Ashes… we’d never felt that as an Australian side before,” Gillespie told ‘Sen Radio’ on Thursday.

“England would normally go out in dribs or drabs going onto the field… (but this time) it was really noticeable that as soon as the umpires walked out there, (England skipper) Michael Vaughan was straight out there, everyone was straight out there, quick chat and then they would literally run to their fielding positions, the bowler would run and hand his cap to the umpire and before our batters were halfway onto the ground, the whole England team was set up ready to play, ready to rock,” added Gillespie.

Harmison, 44, who played 63 Tests taking 226 wickets, said quite a few “selfish” players contributed to the poor culture in the England side.

“We’d grown up as a team, we played as a team and we behaved off the field like a team (in 2005). In 1997, 2001, 2003/04, you had a lot of selfish characters playing for England,” said Harmison.

“Some great cricketers, don’t get me wrong… but when you look at — and I’ve got no problem saying this — the likes of Nasser (Hussain), Athers (Michael Atherton), Thorpey (Graham Thorpe), Corkey (Dominic Cork), Darren Gough, Andy Caddock, there was a group of individuals playing all together as a team where you look at 2005, we were a team,” added Harmison.

Harmison added that even though Australian cricketers might have had differences, they were swept aside for the common good of the side.

“Looking at (the Australian team), your boys were a team. You might have had some differences, but we never picked up once (on any of them).” Hussain and Atherton, who played a combined of 211 Tests, were at the helm of the England side before Vaughan took over as skipper in 2003 and won the Ashes in 2005.

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