MIKE Gatting has called the attitude of Middlesex players into question and believes an abundance of batting talent could ironically be undermining the fortunes of his old club.
The former Three Seaxes skipper, who guided the club to a glut of honours in the 80s, admits he is saddened by Middlesex’s demise as they prop up the entire County Championship.
He thinks it is down to a lack of application.
"I look at them and think ‘Gee, why do we keep on losing?’ because there’s so much talent there," Gatting said.
"I’m probably out of order saying this, but it is frustrating and disappointing and I can only assume because of that abundance of talent, not enough people are taking the responsibility of actually doing it themselves,î said the ex England captain, who now works for the ECB promoting grass roots cricket.
"Maybe they expect other [team-mates] to do it, I don’t know, but I’m sure Gus [Fraser, the director of cricket] will have a handle on things.
"The ability’s there without a doubt and I think it’s a question of one or two of them taking things on their shoulders much more for the good of the team.
"The really disappointing thing for me is that nobody’s really come in and said: ‘That’s it, I want Middlesex to win and I’m going to take responsibility.’ They’ve got to show how badly they want them to win.
"I mean, Middlesex bottom of the league. Of Division Two! We are getting bowled out by sides who really shouldn’t be doing it to us and there’s something wrong with individuals. It’s a bit like the England football team. It’s a great shame they’re not doing what they are capable of doing."
Gatting added: "I suppose to be fair, we were blessed with some great overseas players like Wayne Daniel and Desmond Haynes, who we had all year for 10 years. The quality we had then was outstanding.
"You could say Middlesex are still turning out England players like Steve Finn, Owais Shah, Eoin Morgan and Straussy [Andrew Strauss], but maybe not enough players coming in for them have made the most of their opportunities."