Talking Sport: Cricket stars should keep mouths shut

Trevor Watson
Trevor Watson

You expect it from boxers and, of course, that dopey American wrestling, where they talk for 20 minutes in the ring and fight for three, but you get the feeling that cricketers should keep their mouths shut before matches.

This week we had England hero Ben Stokes, who has shown a bit of temper at times, saying if there’s a confrontation with the Australians he won’t walk away.

Then fast bowler Matt Wood warned that if Aussie opener Chris Rogers were to play at Edgbaston, he would still send him bouncers.

Rogers, of course, has had problems with dizzy spells after being hit on the head by James Anderson and was doubtful for the game at Edgbaston.

Nobody expects Stokes, Wood or any other England player to back off but perhaps they should obey the old rule of ‘shut up and get on with it.’ The best are usually those who say nowt.

It was noticeable that after England piled up all of 103 all out at Lord’s, none of the batsmen bragged what they would do to Mitchell Johnson and Co.

Some journalists tried to provoke Jonny Bairstow, a battler if ever there was one, to say daft things about how he would deal with short stuff from the Aussie pacemen but he sensibly kept his answers low key.

Credit to Chris Froome for his second outstanding victory in the Tour de France despite a fair amount of unpleasantness from locals. At one stage he had urine thrown over him.

Can you imagine the reaction if that happened in this area to a French rider when the tour was over here?

The London media, who have Dewsbury on speed dial these days, would have whipped things up before you could say ‘On yer bike.’

Football is just around the corner - not that it ever went away - and hysteria has already been whipped up by the draw for the 2018 World Cup, which has England and Scotland in the same qualifying group.

It’s 16 months before the first game but the silly talk has already begun. Idiots are already making plans.

The Challenge Cup semi-finals take place this weekend with Leeds Rhinos meeting St Helens at Warrington on Friday night.

You have to sympathise with the Leeds fans because Lewis Hamilton couldn’t dash over the M62 after work on a Friday.

While it’s nice to see the game is on BBC you can bet the strange day for the ‘semi’ cuts 5,000 off the attendance.

Warrington play Hull KR at Headingley on Saturday lunchtime and if Rovers don’t shake their feathers, they’ll again be shown up. Last week they were awful.

This semi-final is a ‘curtain raiser’ to the Women’s FA Cup final at Wembley between Chelsea Ladies and Notts County Ladies but you already knew that.

Batley got the win they wanted - and needed - over Dewsbury last Sunday.

There were a few incidents in a lively game. Some of the old players were smiling in their beds.