Clough would have left him to sweat on whether he would be picked again

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Second Test - Sir Ge­of­frey Boy­cott

If it was Brian Clough in charge of Eng­land, he would have told Jofra Archer: “If it is so im­por­tant for you to go home be­tween Test matches, you can go home now and stay there.” He would leave him to sweat on whether the man­ager would select him again. Jofra would get the mes­sage. You mess with Mr Clough and you could be out for good.

As a for­mer player with Mid­dles­brough and Sun­der­land, Clough un­der­stood the men­tal­ity of young play­ers, so when he took over as man­ager at Derby County he had the whole squad stay the night be­fore a match at the lo­cal Mid­land Ho­tel.

Af­ter din­ner to­gether, he had his staff stand guard on all the en­trances and ex­its to the ho­tel. When some of his young­sters tried to go out on the town drink­ing and chas­ing girls they were sent back with a flea in their ear. You can only treat peo­ple like grown-ups if they act in a grown-up way and do not let you down. If they think rules and re­spon­si­bil­ity do not ap­ply to them, then treat them like chil­dren and have them su­per­vised at all times, or the ul­ti­mate sanc­tion is not to select them. That would send a mes­sage to the rest of the squad.

The Eng­land and Wales Cricket Board has to ac­cept some re­spon­si­bil­ity by al­low­ing the play­ers out of their sight to drive from Southamp­ton to Manch­ester on their own. For many hours the ECB would have had no idea where they were or what they were do­ing. The play­ers were out of sight and out of their con­trol – am­a­teur or­gan­i­sa­tion. The West Indies squad trav­elled on two buses.

There have been pre­vi­ous in­ci­dents of play­ers let­ting them­selves down, their col­leagues

Hope­fully, no­body will have suf­fered by his stu­pid­ity but he could have put the English game at risk

and English cricket – Jonny Bairstow in a Perth bar, and Ben Duck­ett was sent home from Aus­tralia for pour­ing a pint of beer over James An­der­son. Alex Hales was sus­pended for fail­ing a drugs test – and the big­gest one of all was our best crick­eter, Ben Stokes, af­ter the in­ci­dent in Bris­tol.

Our gov­ern­ment has al­lowed in­ter­na­tional cricket to be played un­der strict quar­an­tine rules and if it ever feels that the ECB can­not con­trol its play­ers and any player puts other peo­ple at risk, it could eas­ily stop cricket be­ing played. Hope­fully, no­body will have suf­fered by Archer’s stu­pid­ity, but he could have put English cricket at risk.

As for mat­ters on the field, bowlers have to take wick­ets, bats­men have to make runs. You do not win Test matches by look­ing pretty. You win Test matches by the weight of runs and the abil­ity to take wick­ets. Our prob­lem for a long time has been, can we make enough runs?

I am re­ally pleased for Dom Si­b­ley. It is about how many runs you make, not how many balls or how many bound­aries. Runs are all that mat­ters.

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