Watching and playing for England is no longer a chore, get Stokes off camera, Irish smash All Blacks myth, '˜elite' lady cricketers lack quality

It now appears obvious that playing for England is a joy rather than a chore.

Thursday, 22nd November 2018, 3:30 pm
Harry Kane.

I doubt selfish clubs will be able to withdraw players like skipper Harry Kane from international football on a whim any more. I can’t see the players themselves agreeing to it for a start. It’s another positive from Gareth Southgate’s reign.

It’s also a positive of the Nations League, a hugely successful creation. It’s far easier to get players to miss friendlies than it is competitive games and the Nations League has been eagerly contested by all countries.

England’s pacy football remains flawed, but they try and entertain and attack and that counts for a lot in the public’s eyes.

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Irish hero Jonathan Sexton.

I’m already looking forwards to the Nations League finals next season. I reckon we will win it.

GET STOKES OFF CAMERA

England won two great Test matches in Sri Lanka by playing attacking, entertaining cricket.

There was a downside though as their use of the review system when batting was embarrassing. Intellectually-challenged players like Ben Stokes should be banned from reviewing decisions. The man who has a dodgy relationship with TV cameras anyway selfishly ruined the chance of others extending their own innings.

Ben Stokes.

‘ELITE’ LADIES LACK QUALITY

The non-stop promotion of ladies ‘elite’ sport is let down by the quality of the product.

I caught the end of a Womens World T20 Cup tie between England and West Indies this week when the fielding would have embarrassed under 12 players.

HERO OF THE WEEK

Well played Ireland’s rugby union for destroying the myth that the All Blacks are the best sporting team in the world, an unprovable claim anyway. They’re not even the best team in their own sport any more. Irish heroes could be found all over the pitch last weekend, but their outstanding fly-half Jonathan Sexton is their star. He’s better than flaky Beauden Barrett, his opposite number in the All Blacks camp.