With Beth Mead a nailed on certainty for Sports Personality of the Year, I’m focussing on our team of the year. The England’s Ladies Football team has done incredible things and my memory of the year is standing in Trafalgar Square singing along with them the morning after they won the Cup.
But my favorite team is the England’s men’s cricket team who have shown all our national sides how adopting a positive mental attitude can turn a losing to a winning side while putting smiles on everyone’s faces!
This morning, they’ve wrapped up an eight wicket victory over Pakistan to become the first ever team to get a clean sweep as the away side in Pakistan.
Speaking as a lover of watching cricket, the transformation from a team who shrunk from challenges and played with fears to the England of the Baz-ball era , has been inspirational.
As someone who leads a company, I’ve seen how Brendon “Baz” McCullum has empowered his players to take the risks needed to win.
The players we now regard as world-beaters were over the past two or three years , cowering behind defeats from Australia, India and West Indies. Now , there is no team we fear.
Can our men’s rugby team take up the challenge?
Yesterday’s news that Steve Borthwick is taking over the leadership of the England Rugby team, comes at the right time. Our rugby team currently play with the lack of confidence we saw from our cricketers in 2021.
They should learn from Ben Duckett, who has just carried his bat to series triumph in Karachi.
“I’m not sure I will play in a team like this again. We are willing to lose games to win and if you go with that mentality all the pressure goes off you. We are just trying to enjoy it.”
So what was Stokes’ response to the question – “how do you sum up your team’s performance in Pakistan?”