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Old October 8, 2003, 07:06 AM
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Hasib Hasib is offline
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Default Nasser Hossain- from the BBC

For four long winters, Nasser Hussain has walked on and off planes all around the world as England's captain.

In cricketing outposts stretching from Karachi to Christchurch, he has invariably been the first man to have the microphones thrust under his nose.

He has been the first man to rally his team when things have not gone according to plan, and the first to leap up from the balcony when crucial wickets have fallen.

If he senses a tide of enormous relief at going to Bangladesh as a humble player rather than as captain, Hussain tries not to let on.

"It's different, that's all, neither good nor bad," he said in an exclusive interview for the BBC Sport website.

But his relaxed demeanour soon gives the game away.

"Touring as a captain does present its different circumstances," he said.

"There's the dress code to worry about and the High Commission engagements when you are an ambassador for your country."

Unprompted, he also makes a clear reference to the chaos surrounding England's World Cup fixture in Zimbabwe last February.

"As last year showed there are certain events which throw up problems of their own," Hussain said.


It's my job and while I'm enjoying it I will continue to do it

On his long-term future as an English batsman

Other aspects about being a captain on tour - a brand new experience for Michael Vaughan - are less unpleasant than being a captain at home, however.

"You are away from the media hype - there's no English papers at breakfast, there's no Sky and no BBC," he said with a wry smile.

"You are detached from things quite a lot and that's nice."

The 35-year-old admits to knowing nothing about Bangladesh, although it neighbours India, where he was born.

But the intense interest in cricket in the subcontinent, while it may be occasionally oppressive, is a plus point for England players on tour, he feels.

"If anything that adds to the tour," he said. "It makes it a lot easier to feel that people are watching us. We are not out there to holiday, we are out there to win cricket matches."

So which of Bangladesh's bowlers does Hussain most respect?

"I honestly know very little about their side," Hussain said. "I got some runs in the ICC knockout tournament in the one match we had against them in 1999.


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"I don't know if their side has changed much since then."

He is happy "just going away for Test matches as a foot-soldier now" but knows Vaughan will probably continue to seek some tips from the old pro.

"I am sure he will ask for my advice but it's his ship now and I don't care if he follows my suggestions or not," said Hussain.

The words are not said in a callous way - instead they show him at his calmest and most relaxed.

With 13 Tests to go before he notches his 100th appearance, how many more winter tours can there be, however?

If he doesn't give it all in fairly soon will his wife finally have a say herself?

"It's nothing to do with my wife - it's my job and while I'm enjoying it I will continue to do it," he added.

No longer captain, not yet veteran pro, and not quite ready for a career in the media, for now at least Hussain is happy to be plain English foot-soldier.
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