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  1. When you give up something as big as playing for England there are going to be moments when you miss it.
  2. I am much more happy in a country pub with 10 blokes having a pint than going to a night club.
  3. Parenthood changes things a lot.
  4. It does take a lot of effort to perform, playing for England. It’s a huge amount of sacrifice to do and one day I might just wake up and say ‘you know what, I’m done with it.’
  5. All I ever wanted to do was play cricket for England and be successful.
  6. I have achieved more than I could have ever imagined and feel very privileged to have played for such a long time alongside some of the greats of the English game.
  7. I was never going to be the best player the world has ever seen but one thing I can be proud of is that I genuinely believe I have become the best player that I could have become.
  8. My stubbornness helped me for the first half of my career; I had that real determination to do it my way — I know the best way. That helped me from a 14-year-old to 25 in getting me to where I got to.
  9. When you step out of the team environment you think, ‘Wow, I’m England captain and we’ve just won the Ashes.’
  10. I think I come back to Essex and fit in pretty well but until you get there you don’t know.
  11. If you have lost matches and not played to potential, criticism will come your way. Critics and media will say what they see and take you on. They will say things which you might not like to hear. But that’s professional sport.
  12. It’s surreal to think that no one has played as many Test matches for England. I suppose it’s a credit to my longevity.
  13. The beauty of cricket is that there are so many different opinions as to the best way to do something and at times it is easier to see something when you’re not emotionally involved in the game and not responsible for the decision. You can go and have a cup of tea and look at it from a different point of view.
  14. I have loved cricket my whole life, from playing in the garden as a child, and will never underestimate how special it is to pull on an England shirt.
  15. As cricketers we fail all the time. You score a hundred every now and again but you get out between nought and 20 far more often. If you get 50, you feel bad because you should have got a hundred. Even if you get a hundred, you feel you should have got 150. So you’re always failing.
  16. The delight you feel in that split second you score your first hundred is so intense it can’t be repeated.
  17. Sport is an entertainment, in one sense. But it’s also a business.
  18. It is frustrating when you go all that way, you train, and you just don’t turn up. It does happen. If you play 100-odd Test matches, there’s going to be little periods when you don’t score the runs.
  19. The one thing about professional sport is it’s all about results, and at the end of the day, if someone is employing you and you’re not scoring runs or you’re not taking wickets, they ain’t going to carry on doing it, and there’s no any other way of saying that; that’s unfortunately the ruthless business of professional sport.
  20. There’s nothing worse than going out without contributing.

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