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Sunday, 14 July, 2002, 09:39 GMT 10:39 UK
Did Hussain go too far?
Nasser Hussain's gesture to the Lord's media centre after reaching his century has received criticism from some quarters.
Was his behaviour inappropriate?
There has been plenty of conjecture as to whether the England captain should bat at three or lower in the order, and Hussain obviously felt he had proved a point.
His reaction has provoked criticism from many within the press, who felt that it overshadowed what should have been a happy occasion for the England captain.
Were his actions justified?
This debate is now closed. A selection of your e-mails appear below.
Ungentlemanly certainly, but the game changes and players come under increasing pressure from all sides to perform. This is purely a reaction to that pressure. More important was his pretty sketchy century.
He needs to put up more convincing knocks with better strike rates to shut up his critics. In addition, he needs to be able to alter the batting order as required by the situation.
Nasser's innings did not make the point he thought he was making. He struggled at first, and even though he battled through well, even his century did not justify him batting at number three.
All the other batsmen who played major innings on Saturday (Trescothick, Flintoff, Ganguly, Sehwag, Singh and Kaif) scored at a faster rate than a run a ball. His innings, on a wonderful batting wicket, deprived other members of the England team from doing likewise and building an even bigger total.
England need to give the batsmen who can score the most quickly the maximum time at the crease. Come on Nasser, put the team first.
Nasser has only called trouble for HIMSELF with such a gesture. After India's fantastic win in the Natwest trophy, the pressure is already on Hussain and team. Add to it the fact that Sourav has had a good touranament both as captain and player, the pressure will be huge on Nasser in the upcoming Test series.
Being as shrewd as Sourav is, he will make sure the pressure doesn't ease on Nasser. I think Hussain should concentrate only on his batting and his captaincy now for his and England's sake.
This sort of behaviour was totally uncalled for. In comparison to what Sourav Ganguly faces from the Indian press, what Hussain has had to deal with is nothing. We did not see anything of this sort from Ganguly when he reached his century on debut in Lord's or any of his 18 other ODI hundreds.
There should be no double standards when it comes to the match referee controlling the players. If six Indian players could have been punished in South Africa for something that pales in comparison to this then surely Hussain should be taken to task.
Angus Fraser said Nasser's gesture soured the match for him. I totally agree. Nasser's gesture was totally uncalled for. He is a fine captain, and should have had more dignity.
To me he represents the best of the British. He's suave and sophisticated and this time he showed that he has balls to go with it too. I don't find anything wrong in his reaction.
The press sometimes tends to go too far sometimes. Instead of supporting the best captain they've had in years, they rip him apart with every half opportunity they get. True, it's a gentleman's game. But even gentlemen can take only so much!
That's Nasser for you. He is passionate...not just about the topic we are discussing but also about the performance of young players (many of whom who would have been dumped into oblivion had it been some other 'perfect gentleman' at the helm) and that of the England team.
If there were eleven well-mannered Englishmen like Gower playing today for England then this team would be steamrolled by the other teams. I think the English should support Nasser and his team rather than getting on top of him for everything that they can lay their hands on. That is what's best for English cricket. They need their captain's fire and passion. Times have changed.
I do not know what all the fuss is about. Here we have a cricketer who is passionate about the sport he plays and the job that he is commissioned to do and who, by the way, does it better than anyone else for the last decade in English cricket. Leave Nass alone!
Sports people are still real people, and should have the right to express what they think as they wish to a degree. They did not ask to be put on pedestals.
It seems the lack of discipline shown my Hussain is reflected in the rest of the team. Many a time I've seen England players shouting obscenities at the opposing team when they have managed to get them out. Flintoff appears to be a regular offender. When is someone going to stamp this sort of behaviour out?
I was already turned off by the ugly batting performance, and the gesture at the end of his century was the final straw. What does one century (a mighty lucky one too) prove? This kind of attitude will not help to improve England's chances in the World Cup.
I think Hussain will grow wiser after the event. I feel he has done it in the heat of the moment! When he sits back and watches the video, he will probably think that it would have been better had he not done it.
It does not help to point fingers at the press. He will realize it when he retires how foolish the gesture was! He was better off raising the bat at them and getting the applause instead.
To know that the gesture was directed towards Ian Botham and Bob Willis is shocking. Nasser Hussain will have to do more than scoring a scratchy hundred to be able to stand up to the two English greats. In light of India's victory his angry roar will be seen & remembered as a cowardly yelp.
Cricket is almost devoid of passion these days. All those English people who are quick to admonish Nasser for his actions would do better to look at where England are, compared with a year ago. To those other supporters of the one-day game - is this not the sort of game you wanted to see?
I think his fighting century was enough to silence his critics.
Hussein's critics are right. He cost England both games at Lord's because of his complete failure to accelerate when necessary. Most worryingly, he is clearly convinced he is right, and is sacrificing the sides' interest for himself, perhaps unwittingly. His reaction was clearly that of someone on a personal crusade. And then, with a few overs to go, someone sends in Vaughan? Oh Dear.
All credit to Hussain. The pressure on any sportsman is immense especially with the hounding British press. His gesture was probably more a sign of relief and satisfaction that he was able to answer his critics than anything else.
Oh come on! Leave the man alone. He's doing a great job for England. In the excitement of the moment he made an inappropriate gesture and he probably wishes he hadn't. The guy's not only an excellent captain - he's human too!
The media should concentrate on the bigger issue which is how did England manage to throw the game away on Saturday.
I believe that too mush is being made out of the whole situation. Hussain proved his point and scored a 100, lucky or not, they all count. He may have overreacted slightly but most people do anyway.
As for where he should bat in then order, he has shown in this series that he is willing to be flexible and lets Flintoff come in when the run rate needs boosting. But when the innings needs stabilising or England are off to a good start, there is no substitute for having a proper cricketer playing proper shots, which is Hussain though and through. The whole essence on one day cricket now is to be flexible.
Much like with the Anna Kournikova interview at the start of Wimbledon, 'Hussain's gesture' has been inflated into a story by self-important journalists who think their opinions are more important than the sport itself. The 'has-beens' and 'wanna-bees' that fill the press-boxes should realise that not everyone is an enamoured with the sound of their voices as they are.
Whatever you like to call it, Nasser's display on Saturday was a celebration. Like footballers who rip off their shirts after scoring a goal, he was pleased and he showed it. If it is acceptable for certain former players (who in all honesty should know better) to criticise him then it is ok for him to respond by proving them wrong and acknowledging the fact.
I am sure those players are not the least bit surprised at his reaction. He is not 'miserable' - he is intense, professional and passionate. He is recognised as one of the best captains the country has seen for years. Witnessing his relief at scoring his debut one-day hundred is a small price to pay for a man who has given you all a much-improved team to watch for the last three years.
Hussain is a great skipper; his leadership has improved England a long way forward. But as captain he should have restrained himself and maybe made his point through the right channels. But it proves one thing Hussain is still hungry for success and improvement.
I think former players and the press should be critical in order to bring out the best in players. From a personal point of view, I understand Hussain's anger. However, I think his actions on the field went against the spirit of the game.
Hussain and Fletcher are clearly a good combination - technically skilled, innovative and driven to succeed. What a pity they are also dour and graceless.
As suave and diplomatic as he is, Hussain faltered for this time. By reaching his hundred, he had already made his point. What purpose did this graphic outburst serve?
Nasser has been a superb and totally committed captain these last few years, and his passionate temperament has brought the best out in his team. He is the captain and knows what he is doing, so let's not blow this small incident out of all proportion.
Nasser is under pressure, but he is still doing a great job. I wish everyone would get off his back and get behind him and the England team.
There is nothing wrong with what Hussain did. He had been facing plenty of heat for playing himself at number three, as well as the fact that he was yet to score a century in a one-day match.
Rahul Dravid responded in a similarly emotional way at Eden Gardens, after completing his century against Australia, and I see no harm in it. If the media can say, write or do as they please, then Hussain has the equal right to express himself.
Well done to Hussain. A man can only take so much, and that was an appropriate gesture after he'd proved his critics wrong.
Hussain's overreaction after his century was completely uncalled for. His century was one of the luckiest and ugliest ever witnessed in one-day cricket, and he should have thanked his stars that he actually got to 100!
It was only fitting that England lost after such a display from the person who was supposed to show the rest of the team how to behave.
Hussain went too far. Journalists and public alike have a legitimate right to offer opinion and criticism - provided it is about his performance and is not personal. As a well paid professional he should be able to receive criticism with dignity, as well as plaudits. Too far Nasser!
I think it is regrettable that he did that. Just one look at his average and strike rate should tell the whole story. He should come lower down the order and send Flintoff or Irani at three.
Nasser is a brilliant captain and he knows what he is doing. He is technically sound in his batting as well as his captaincy. It's easy to point fingers from the boundary, but we should be thankful that we finally have a captain that is making something of the England team.
As for his batting position, he is a great number three, and he has the ability to hold the innings as well as to go after the bowlers. Well done Nasser!
It was quite unbecoming of a gentleman, and he paid for it at the end of the match by having an embarrassing look when the gutsy Indians stole the match away. Personal achievements will not be counted highly if they do not serve the team's victory.
If someone had played at three who could score faster, the total would have been higher. Thus, he proved himself wrong in that position despite his brilliant ton. Now he has placed himself in an awkward situation!
Hussain is one of the worst tempered players I have ever seen. After scoring the worst century ever made, I am appalled that he had the gall to think he had proved a point. For his atrocious batting, he ought to have hung his head in shame instead of raising fingers.
Obviously I don't support Hussain's reaction. But at the same time the media should not comment about his batting up or down the order. It's in the best interest of the team that he is coming at number three. He proved it in the final by scoring a century, which is great. Since Hussain's appointment as captain we have seen a marked improvement in English cricket.
I say good on you Nasser! The media has free reign to criticise people, and now they've had the tables turned on them they can't handle it. Well done that man for standing up to these pessimists!
Nasser Hussain's actions were unbecoming for an England captain under any circumstances. He should not bat at three, and his ton was more luck than judgment.
His gesture was unfortunate and inappropriate for any captain. Any player should let his performance do the talking. He is not an international number three, and his slow scoring at the start of his innings cost England the game.
I think Hussain is a passionate cricketer, and his passion is just what will bring new people to the game. One cannot say either of these things for many of his critics. We should celebrate him.
On seeing Nasser's century on TV I was about to applaud a great effort, but seeing his gesture my hands stopped in mid-air.
I have been following English cricket closely since their tour of India late last year and have noticed the increased grumpiness of England's cricket captain. The frustration at not getting enough credit from the media for England's improved show in the past year got the better of him, leading to this inappropriate gesture.
Hussain should take a leaf from Ganguly's book and learn to take all of this in his stride and to stop whining. After all, it is the results that count in the end.
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