Month long ship trip for cricket tour best way to build team spirit: Oz legend Davidson

Friday, November 5, 2010

SYDNEY - Australian Test great Alan Davidson has said that a month at sea on a ship bound for England is the best way to build team spirit, but it is an alien concept to modern cricketers.

Davidson was speaking on board the Oriana in Sydney Harbour at a reunion of Australia’s 1961 team, the last to sail all the way to England for a Test series.

“At the moment blokes are running here, there and everywhere, from Twenty20 matches to 50-50 to state games and five-day Tests,” Davidson said.

“So you never get the team together for four weeks like we did on the ship. That was when you built up your team morale and confidence,” he said.

“You didn’t have to look over your shoulder because you knew your mate was there,” The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Davidson, as saying.”

Alongside old teammates including Richie Benaud, Neil Harvey, Bob Simpson, Brian Booth, Barry Jarman, Graham McKenzie and Lindsay Kline, Davidson recalled the camaraderie that got him through tough times.

“I couldn’t even walk the day before the Lord’s Test, but I got three early wickets and when I came through the (dressing room) door at lunch there was a wet towel thrown straight over my head.

“I was slammed down into a chair, and those who weren’t playing, players 13 and 14 and 15, 16 and 17 were all doing something … there was a drink, they were taking my boots off, everything. That was the sort of team spirit we had,” Davidson said.

The all-rounder also said that there was too much mixed cricket in the modern age, requiring batsmen to hit fours and sixes one minute then play more sedately through the middle stages of one-day games. (ANI)

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