Strauss hopes Test will bring back country’s feel good factor

August 9th, 2011 - 8:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Birmingham, Aug 9 (IANS) England’s skipper Andrew Strauss said the recent riots here have not affected the team’s preparations and they are focused on Wednesday’s Test against India to restore the country’s feel good factor.

Birmingham since Monday night has been mired in street violence but the England side showed no shades of worry during their practice Tuesday.

Instead, Strauss chose to see the riots not as a distraction but an opportunity to get the “feel good factor” back into the country.

England lead the four-match series 2-0. The third Test begins Wednesday at Edgbaston and if the hosts win it, they will dislodge India from the No.1 position.

“Let’s divorce the cricket match from what is going on in the country, which is clearly not our proudest hour,” Strauss said on the match eve.

“When you watch these scenes on the television, it is clearly horrific, but in terms of our preparation for the Test match it hasn’t affected us much. This is an opportunity for cricket to put (back) a feel good factor and show that not everything is bad out there at the moment.”

The Test will go as schedule and after a meeting with Warwickshire and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), West Midlands police had no concerns about the match needing police resources from the city centre.

Strauss said the players are not worried about the security and are focussing on the Test preparation.

“We have been given no indication that the game won’t go ahead, so it is right for us to prepare as we normally would,” he said.

“Clearly there are big things going on in the country at the moment but to say that they are affecting us would be wrong.”

“Our security manager says it is 100 percent safe and you should always take their advice. We don’t feel unsafe and we feel isolated from what is going on. In terms of preparing for a Test match it is wrong for us to spend too much time thinking about it.”

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