David Wigley: Desperate to play

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I’ve had a frustrating last week! I was ‘rested’ as part of our ‘rotation’ system for the County Championship match against Derbyshire, at Chesterfield. It was frustrating, not only because I had to spend the entire four days filling up water-bottles with different players’ requests and being a general ‘go-fer’, but also because I had to watch a match dominated by seam bowling on a wicket that I would have loved to roll up and take home with me!

However, once my sulking had subsided, I was able to watch the team chalk up another impressive win, although closer than we would have hoped! It put us in a very strong position going into the final 5 games, and promotion in 2nd place is a distinct possibility.

I write this on the eve of our next match which is at home against Glamorgan. I’ve not been so keen for a match in a long while. I am again in the squad of 12 and I have been given the nod to play by the Captain. However, when I wasn’t in the last team, I am never totally sure I’m playing in the next until my name gets placed on the official slip and the coach has signed it off!

I hate not knowing if I am playing or not. It sounds silly, but I often don’t sleep very well, with all the various team possibilities spinning round in my head and what my arguments for discussion might be if I’m not selected. People tell me not to worry about it, but it’s not that easy. It’s not so much worry; more the fact I just like to know what I’m doing the next morning! I like to prepare mentally, as well as physically. I guess it boils down to the fact I like to relax, that is probably my mental preparation. Even when selected, I am a lot more settled once I know how the toss has panned out for us. The 2nd day onwards I am a lot better and can just relax!

After the disappointment of being left out at Chesterfield, all negative emotions were thrown out of the window on Sunday when I watched the national team win back the Ashes!

At 27-years-old, I have played against many of the England squad in seasons past. I enjoyed congratulating Monty on his contribution when I saw him at training this morning, but mostly I enjoyed watching Graeme Swann take the final wicket.

It was such a great moment, and one completely different to 2005. Apart from anything else, the whole team were out on the field together and had to win the match to win the Ashes. In 2005, the team took the field together in the final session, having already won the series, and simply had to complete the formalities in what was a certain draw for the last 2 hours of the game. There was Kevin Pieterson’s very special century, but there was no huge climax which saw 11 playing swamping each other.

Also, the 2005 team was very much a tale of the walking wounded with Flintoff, (who was lucky enough to make a comeback), Ashley Giles, Simon Jones and Michael Vaughan (who are all either retired, or were never quite the same), all collapsing physically after an extremely demanding series.

This team, Flintoff aside, are young and fresh. They have still a lot of progress to make individually, but they will take so much confidence from this series win. Andrew Strauss is lucky to be able to take this team on and work with them. The 2005 Ashes was a product of several years’ hard work, and finished the story off nicely. The 2009 Ashes, you feel, is just the start.

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